This summer as our family has worked hard getting crops planted, hay baled and now silage chopped. We have had the privilege to see some amazing things among the groups of people we spend time with. Our rural country church had vacation bible school in June. For their daily offering, the kids generally pick a charitable organization to contribute to. This year the Central Missouri Food Bank's 'Buddy Pack' program was chosen. This story starts back long before VBS, as many of you know our kids go to church with, are in 4H with, ride the school bus with, etc etc etc the same set of kids mostly. Last fall our 4H club was presented with a program on the Buddy Pack program by a good friend of mine, Shelley Becker. She works at the food bank as their grant writer. While the parents were concerned that maybe the facts and figures were over their heads.........those kids turned around and the next meeting planned to go and volunteer at the Food Bank. One day after school the moms gathered everyone up and we went to the food bank and made some huge amount of Buddy Packs up, I wanna say about 400, in less than an hours time. The kids were thrilled, amazed and ready to go back and help again. The Buddy Pack program is near and dear to the kids' heart. They see some of their classmates helped by this program weekly throughout the school year. It makes their hearts feel good to know that they could help with their own skills in a program that they see working. The Buddy Pack program is a bag of food sent home in backpacks every Friday throughout the school year with nonperishable easy to prepare foods that are healthy for the kids to eat. This helps families who would otherwise struggle to feed their kids. I don't know the actual percentage, but I know as a substitute teacher, in a class of 20-ish students, I have seen as many as 5 or 6 qualify in a classroom. We are so thankful to live in an area that works so hard to help families with kids, get them fed! Now fast forward to summer, with that memory of helping in their minds, when asked what group could we help with our VBS offering, they shouted in unison---Buddy Packs!!! And helped they did!! I takes around $180 per kid to sponsor this program through the school year, and I think at last count its getting close to 9,000 kids that are helped in the central Missouri region. Well 30 Tulip VBS students and their families, raised $740 dollars in a weeks worth of offerings to pay a yrs worth for 4 kids to get Buddy Packs, plus a little extra!
Now as anyone who pays attention to anything at all, you know things aren't good with the economy, haven't been for a while now, certainly this summer's drought has been rough on farmers in many areas. I would guess 90% of people involved in these two projects are rural people and several were involved in both projects, with a little hustle we were able to help two very worthy causes. And what we have gotten out of these experiences have been amazing. So proud of our friends, neighbors and family. Thank you for reaching into your hearts and finding ways to help others even when much wasn't to be found in your own pockets. You are amazing!
Links to the Charities I mentioned are:
Wishing the silage chopping would get rained out,