School is back in session, summer is almost over, and Christmas is soon approaching. Although only four months away, there is still time to participate in the Christmas Backpack Project for children affected by poverty. 17.3 million of the children living in the U.S. live in poverty, with almost 1 million of them in Kentucky.
For these children, Christmas does not always come with gifts, like it does for others. For the past several years thousands of children in Kentucky have been receiving backpacks from Baptists in surrounding states filled with food, clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, toys, and a Bible or some Gospel witness. To see the smiles on the children’s faces as they walk out with a backpack, many times almost as big as themselves, just warms the heart and helps you to experience the joy of giving.
In 2016 over 15,000 Kentucky children were blessed with these gifts and, this year, we want to invite Kentucky Baptists to be a part of this effort. A goal of collecting 5,000 backpacks from Kentucky Baptist churches (the NAMB goal is 65,000) has been set. One half of the backpacks collected in Kentucky will be distributed to children living in poverty in our state, with the other half going to need children in the Send Cincinnati area.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is partnering with Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union and the North American Mission Board (Appalachian Regional Ministry and Mississippi River Ministry), in this effort. Many churches, associations, WMU groups, Sunday School classes, and even individuals are already working diligently to pack their backpacks. It was also the mission project for many Vacation Bible Schools this past summer. We are excited to report that, to date, we have 107 registered participants, for a total of 3479 backpacks committed.
For information on how you can participate, how to pack a Christmas backpack, or to register your church’s participation go to www.kybaptist.org/backpacks. Or, if you would like to have someone come and share with you about this project please contact email [email protected]. Collection date is October 16-20 so please respond soon and join us in making a difference in a child’s life this Christmas and, very possibly, for eternity.