One Piece of the Puzzle

One Piece of the Puzzle

Posted on July 09, 2018

JEN NOELLE, GRACE ATTENDER & OUTREACH LEADER
 
Although it seems like the summer just began, stores will soon fill their shelves with various school supplies, signifying the upcoming academic year. Many parents, list in hand, will fill their carts with folders, crayons, pencils and glue. But for others, financial burdens make this a challenge.  Therefore, Grace Church has filled and donated backpacks to local children for fourteen years. Not only has this commitment promoted the value of education, but it has also allowed students to start the school year with confidence and dignity.
 
For many families who attend Grace, the Back to School Blast is something they generously support each year, and we are thankful for those who commit to purchasing a backpack. But one might wonder what happens to these children in October or at Christmas or five years from now? 
 
Thankfully, the backpacks are not a haphazard gesture of goodwill. They are part of an intentional and sustainable effort to break the chains of generational poverty in our community and beyond. This year, the majority of backpacks will be given to families connected with the Care Center and Shepherd Community. Shepherd utilizes what they call the Continuum of Care to meet the needs of children and families from birth into adulthood.
 
According to their website, “The Continuum of Care is a full set of programs that allow us to be continuously engaged in the lives of neighborhood children, teens, and their parents. It is designed to help our families overcome the challenges they may be facing in all areas: physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic.”  
 
One backpack matters.  Your investment matters and makes a difference in the lives of local children.  But, part of the reason why it matters is because it’s a small piece of a larger picture. Imagine a puzzle piece. Although it might seem insignificant on its own, everyone has felt the frustration of completing a puzzle only to find that one piece is missing. It leaves the picture incomplete. A backpack is one piece of a 1,000-piece puzzle, and while no one can put the whole thing together, it takes each of us, piece by piece, to complete the entire picture. 
 
What will your piece be?
 

Purchase a Backpack

Help a student start the school year off right with a backpack filled with supplies!  We will have pre-filled backpacks to sponsor before and after services at each campus on July 14/15 and 21/22. We will also be selling backpacks online during the month of July. All backpacks are pre-filled and cost $25 each. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.
Purchase A Backpack

Become a Tutor

Empower youth, build relationships and transform lives by tutoring a student each week at Shepherd Community Center. Help elementary students improve their reading and comprehension through Whiz Kids or tutor older students through Shepherd’s Intensity Program.

Mentor at Student

Meet with a Shepherd youth one-on-one through community-based activities such as basketball, exploring Central Library or meeting at a local park to build a relationship and invest in a student.

Serve with IPS #58 or Arsenal Tech High School

Many of the students in Shepherd’s program attend IPS #58 or Arsenal Tech High School. Alongside Shepherd, Grace Church works to support the staff and students at these schools. There are many ways to get engaged from helping with Perfect Attendance Parties and tailgates to writing encouraging notes to school staff.

Learn More About Mentoring & Tutoring