School supplies lists. I remember them. Three of them each Fall, one for each child. All of them long, not only pencils and paper but, hand sanitizer before hand sanitizer was cool, tissues, wipes, erasable markers, highlighters, scissors. Often a new bookbag and a lunch box were part of the haul unloaded from buggy to counter to car to classroom. Every time I marveled at the cost and every time I wondered how some families managed to add that additional expense to already tight budgets. I know teachers often paid for these things out of their own pockets, never mind their less than generous salaries. There would be donation bins in the hallways at the open house, too.
Nonetheless, I worried about the children coming to school without a new backpack or pristine crayons because part of the back-to-school ritual, part of the nervous excitement, at least for my children, was the laying out all needed things to make for a good start to what we all hoped would be a good year. The supplies helped set up the success. The supplies provided just a bit of confidence, a sense of having the right tools for what would be required. They marked a beginning filled with possibility. I still love a run to the office supply store. There is something about that blank planner and a new pack of pens that makes me believe I can accomplish whatever needs to be done.
My children no longer have a list comprised of protractors and red pens, but I still have the opportunity to check the boxes off a long list of needed school supplies. And you do, too! We are gathering 100 backpacks for the children and youth of Faith Action International. Here’s a link for more information. The remaining names were adopted yesterday, but there are always more children who need supplies so bring it on!
Here’s the thing, though, we need them ASAP, as in tomorrow. Think of this as a throw back to the last time, maybe it was yesterday, maybe it was years and years ago, you discovered that note buried in a backpack that informed you of the party, field trip, or project that happens to be THE VERY NEXT DAY. You know, the one your child failed to tell you about that requires you to drop everything you are doing and head out to Target, or Wal-Mart, or Harris Teeter or Office Depot. Relive that stress, I mean fun, and help some of Greensboro’s newest families feel the love of Jesus through backpacks, sharpies, and safety scissors.