Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back To School Missions

Today's guest post is from my friend Ida, who blogs when it strikes her fancy or her heart is heavy at Eat, Drink, & Be Jesus.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Pretty, new school supplies are lining store shelves everywhere and I cannot wait to shop! My daughter’s, ages 4 and 2, are excited, too. Even dad is happy with this mini shopping spree!

We’re not shopping for ourselves or for our own kids. (Well...I’m sure I’ll get suckered into buying some new crayons for my own little ones.) We are all excited to go shopping for someone else!

Back to school sales offer the perfect opportunity for you and your little one’s to get involved in giving to families in need while not breaking your budget.

For as long as we have been married my husband and I have hosted some sort of “back to school bash”, collecting items for students in our community who need the help the most. This has gotten so much more fun since having children of our own!

Every year, with children in tow, we grab one of those “generic” school supply lists in the store of our choice. I let our 4 year old pick which list we are going to shop from, kindergarten, 2nd grade, 5th’s her choice. Once she has decided on a list, we pick out each item and this is where the fun begins for my kids. “8 folders” was on our list this us adults it’s no big deal...we would simply grab 8 folders and carry on but for my 2 girls picking those 8 folders is a fun and exciting time. They get to choose the colors, the design, and they get to brush up on their counting skills and team work! So goes the rest of the list. They have a great time picking binders, crayons, markers, pencils, erasers, etc...

Before we shop, we talk about how Jesus wants us to “love your neighbor as yourself”. We pray and thank God for allowing us to love our neighbors, or the people in our community, through the giving of these supplies and we pray for the sweet kids who will get them. We commit our school supplies to a local ministry that my children are allowed to serve at. This way, we’re not just buying things (although this is just as big as a blessing!) but we are also able to take our kids to play with the other kids they are reaching out to.

This year’s school supply drive is hosted by our home group and the supplies we collect will benefit Carver Village, a local housing community that we have had the great privilege of serving at before. For more information on Carver, visit

My family is certainly not financially rich, especially with my husband recently being laid off from his job, but reaching out together as a family makes us realize that we are in fact very the things that really matter!

For only $11.00 even we, with our extremely tight budget, were able to purchase enough school supplies for a very special 4th grader. I pray my children will always remember these days of shopping, sharing, laughing, and giving.

I'm now inspired to take my girls to the local supply store to get a backpack ready! And I don't think this is just for preschoolers. Older, school aged kids should enjoy this as well as they are picking out their own school supplies. 

If you plan on doing this as well, or already did, leave a comment and let us know about your experience shopping with your kids!

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