Delivering Backpacks of Hope

Smiles, laughter, and pure joy shined as each club member at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point opened the door to receive a special visit from Boys & Girls Club staff members in High Point, North Carolina. A sigh of relief and comfort in seeing familiar faces was evident behind every door as staff members greeted the children and handed them an arm full of goodies.

On a normal Friday, the members of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point would receive a backpack full of snacks and small meals provided by United Way as they left the club and headed home for the weekend. From fruit cups and crackers to ravioli and granola bars, these backpacks full of food would help nourish many of them through the weekend in the absence of school supplied meals.

When the reality of schools closing, and the children not being able to attend club programs every afternoon hit at the beginning of this week, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point staff knew they had to do something to make sure their club members and their families were taken care of. Together they formulated a plan and rallied some amazing community partners who graciously provided books, cake pops, and chocolates to lift their spirits to supplement the food backpack while club members are required to stay at home.

On Friday, March 20th, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club staff and community partners organized and divided the materials based on designated routes, prayed for the team to travel safely, and took off in three directions to serve more than 70 club members at their homes.

At every stop, the children were greeted with smiles and given a signed card from the High Point staff members, a book to read from Kiwanis Club of High Point, a box of chocolate candy from Thomas Built Buses, a homemade cake pop from Uncle Cheesecake, the United Way food Backpack, and a chore challenge to complete during the week. Staff members explained that if the students met the challenge by next Friday, they would receive a special treat when staff returned to deliver food backpacks next week.

“In this trying time, we are finding creative ways to keep our kids engaged while addressing their current needs,” explains Amy Hudson, Executive Director of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point. “The staff at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point is committed to assessing the needs of the youth and families we serve. These children don’t understand what is happening around them, so we want to help them feel as normal as possible to lessen their fears.”

As the staff and club members smiled and waved goodbye, you could feel the sense of fear dissipate and a surge of reassurance, knowing that they were loved and had something to look forward to in their {new} normal.

“But after you have suffered, the God of all peace, who calls you by name, in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation.”1 Peter 5:10

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