Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Cool Links

...from our local paper this weekend.

This one reminded me of Kelly's project here at Pass the Torch. (I had to copy, paste, and edit for space since the paper made me log in.)

Backpack drive provides school supplies to children who need a little help

H-P Correspondent
BUCHANAN —A few years ago, when Jann Mitchell want­ed to do something to help her community, the idea to organize a backpack drive to give school supplies to children came to her during her prayer time.
“I was praying about what I could do to be a blessing to the community, and the Lord gave me that vision,” she said. “I went with it and it has been re­ally great.”
This is the third year that Mitchell has organized the backpack drive. She has gotten more people involved every year, not only at Faith Victory Fellowship where her husband, Dave, is the pastor but through­out the community.
“Each church has something they do, and this was something I felt we could do,” she said. “At first I wondered about back­packs, but it really helps people to get them for their kids.”
This year, the Buchanan Area Ministerial Association is help­ing, as are several local busi­nesses, organizations and indi­viduals.
For example, the Chemical Bank branch in Buchanan has put posters up about the back­pack program as well as set aside a place where people can leave donations.
It’s also become a ministry that other local churches have taken to heart.
“A lot of churches had their kids bring items as part of their Vacation Bible School pro­gram,” Mitchell said. “It was a blessing to see the kids get in­volved.
“I thought it was neat to see all the churches working to­gether,” she said. “It’s a won­derful witness for the commu­nity to see.”
After filling over 200 back­packs with school supplies the first year and 378 last year, she and other volunteers have done 306 already this year. They’ve already spent one morning fill­ing the backpacks and will be doing it again on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. and continu­ing through the day until they are all done.
The backpacks will be dis­tributed to children and teens and their parents from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Buchanan Farmers Market stalls at the Common in downtown Buchanan on Sun­day, Aug. 26, during the Old Mill Festival. Everyone from Head Start to 12th grade stu­dents can get one.
Mitchell said she went to area schools as well as trailer and mobile home parks the first year to find families where help might be appreciated. Since then, people have contacted her both to ask for help and to find ways they can make donations themselves...
The backpacks are filled with everything from toiletries to all sorts of school supplies includ­ing folders, notebook paper, notebooks, scissors, glue, eras­ers, crayons, pens, pencils and even calculators for the high school students.
Each one also gets a chil­dren’s book on religious themes and a flier telling about the Bu­chanan Area Ministerial Asso­ciation and activities at differ­ent local churches...
She said that the backpacks go out to families throughout the area.
“Kids in Buchanan, Niles, Galien and Brandywine get our backpacks,” she said. “They even go as far as Coloma, Baro­da and South Bend.”

And, this one I thought was cool as an option for homeschoolers in this area. There are only two districts in Michigan doing this and one is down the road from me and (I think) would be an option for Flicka and Pojke should we choose to go the homeschooling way until high school.

Local homeschoolers enroll part-time and in return they get resources, classes, and experiences they might not generally get on their own and the district benefits by getting "credit" for those students so more money from the State of Michigan.

FINALLY! A district that doesn't look at homeschoolers as the "enemy" or the "competition" or people to be distrustful of! Wa-hoo!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

That is sooo cool. We have a similar program at our church, but not as huge. We have a "Back To School Bash"
and each child gets a bag of needed school supplies. I know it is a blessing to many.