A few months ago I was approached by a teacher at my son's school. I consider this teacher a friend so when she approached me I know it wasn't about something she randomly thought to talk to me. We'll call her B.
B told me about a program she saw featured on the news or in a newspaper. I can't remember which. and that's not important.
The program? It's called Backpack Buddies. Basically it's an organization that collects food to send home with children whose main nourishment comes from their meals at school. As a substitute I've witnessed children taking up uneaten apples and prepackaged foods from the children who didn't eat them and then putting them in their backpack to take home.
When B talked with me about it she told me she thought I'd be a good person to start something like this in our schools. I have to be honest and admit I slid the conversation on a shelf in the back of my mind and only thought about it occasionally. We all have those things we say we'll get to when we have time.
Well, the truth is I don't have anymore time now than I did when B approached me. And let's face it I'm not going to have more time for the next 10 years or so. But the past month or so it's been weighing heavy on my heart. Our system has a high percentage of children on free and reduced lunches so it's not surprising that some probably go home needing food.
So I'm beginning to research and trying to find similar programs not too far away that I can contact to learn more about beginning a program like this.
I take this step with some trepidation.
I don't have a clue how to begin.
The thought of beginning and perhaps heading up a program like this is more than intimidating for me. (If you know me and my personality this isn't a surprise. I'm not a leader by nature unless you put me in the room with humans under the age of 10.)
How do I do this and keep a balance with work and family?
I don't want children in my town going home without food at home.
How do I get volunteers that will stick with it for the long haul? There's no way I can do this alone.
And this is the big one: What if it fails?
So here's what I'm asking my friends and blog readers: First, please pray. Second, if you know of a program like this, especially in the northern half of Alabama, the Atlanta area of even the Nashville area could you please let me know? I'm hoping to find one within a few hours that I can visit to get an idea of how one is run and how to begin.