Were you ever told to finish all the food on your plate because there were starving kids in Ethiopia? Even if you weren’t told that, you probably saw Sally Struthers and others on late night TV showing pictures of African kids with distended bellies and ribs poking out. If you were like me, you probably had a sense of guilt, but didn’t know how them being hungry was going to make you like okra. Or frozen peas that were way greener than the canned ones.
As the idea of Lovepacs became a reality, we didn’t want to guilt people into giving to kids. But we did want to make sure our community was aware of what was truly going on—maybe even on our own street. It’s a crazy thought…there are kids in OUR neighborhood—in America—who don’t get enough to eat. Kids who look forward to those cafeteria lunches. Kids that look at school vacations with mixed emotions because they know it means they won’t get breakfast and lunch that week.
Another thing we wanted to do was help these kids keep their dignity by not pointing them out to everyone. That’s one reason we go through the school counselors (the other is to have a checks and balances system since they know the kids in their school better than we can). We want for those kids to feel no shame for receiving help. For them to not worry about choosing between embarrassment amongst their friends and being hungry.
Lovepacs has grown this year, with chapters opening up in 2 new cities and some of the former chapters expanding. There will be close to 1800 kids fed this Thanksgiving alone!! Lovepacs exists to be an expression of God’s love by engaging communities to serve children in need. Children in our neighborhoods. Children at our kids’ school.
To find out how you can be involved, go to http://www.lovepacs.org. or join one of our Facebook pages at:
Lovepacs – The Colony (also serves Little Elm)
Lovepacs – Castle Hills
Lovepacs – Frisco
Lovepacs – Plano
Lovepacs – Cy Fair
Lovepacs – Aubrey
Thank you for your part in feeding kids in need!
Lovepacs began 3 1/2 years ago. If you ask some of the founders, the fact that over 1000 kids received Lovepacs this spring break, would not be a surprise. We’ve had some big-picture thinkers on our team from the start.
Almost from the beginning, we had conversations about filing for our 501(c)3–a document that would make us a legitimate non-profit organization in the eyes of the government and enable contributors to write-off their donations. We started the process 2 years ago and thankfully, you, in the community, rallied behind that cause and donated directly for that purpose. When we filed in September of 2012, we believed it would be a 3-4 month process and in January, we would be “official.” Much to our dismay, it didn’t happen that quickly.
As we prayed and talked about why it was taking so long, the thing that kept coming up was that Lovepacs was a grassroots organization. While being able to obtain corporate sponsorship would be great, we didn’t want to lose the neighborhood concept. Lovepacs was/is a group of people who live and work in their community and have a desire to see that every kid in their neighborhood has enough food to eat. It’s a true depiction of the quote, “It takes a village…”
As we explore the opportunities that the 501(c)3 gives us, our prayer is that we continue acting as a grassroots organization. That neighbors still donate food and their time to serve those who live down the street from them. That word of mouth still propels us forward and that packing a box is something that continues to grab the heart of individual families.
As our board of directors meets over the next few months, we will keep you posted about what this document means for us, but in the meantime, we want to THANK YOU. THANK YOU for your donations. THANK YOU for packing boxes with us. THANK YOU for spreading the word to your neighbors and co-workers. THANK YOU for praying. And most of all, THANK YOU for taking an active step in feeding kids in our community–potentially changing their life! We look forward to a continued partnership with you and can’t wait to see what happens next!
“At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,
so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.
Then there will be equality.”
2 Corinthians 8:14
As children, most of us looked forward to snow days. We would stay up late watching the news, hoping to hear the name of our school district. We would get ready slowly in the morning, praying that we would get a reprieve from that homework we didn’t finish or that test we had scheduled. And when we did, most of us felt the utter joy of freedom to run and play and not have to sit and think.
Even as an adult, I love snow days. In the busyness of our world, there’s something magical about a day off surrounded by our family. I still get giddy with excitement when I hear our school district is closed–even though I know it means we will make it up later. Even though at some point in the day, my girls will tell me they’re bored or will argue with each other. It’s still worth it.
We’ve had a lot of snow days this school year, and while, I still love them and embrace them, they are bittersweet for me. As I watch my daughters laugh with utter joy at pulling each other on a boogie board over the ice, I can’t help but also think about the kids who are not as fortunate as mine. The kids who are home alone today and may not have food in their house to eat. The kids who rely on school to get breakfast and lunch–meals that fill their tummy and make up for not having dinner at home.
When I was a kid, and left food on my plate, I always felt guilty about the “kids in Ethiopia that were starving and would love to eat the stuff I didn’t.” This post is not meant to lay a guilt trip on you for enjoying your snow day–having today off for me is a true gift that I will take advantage of and I pray you will too.
It’s just a reminder of how thankful I am for Lovepacs and the generosity of our communities to feed these kids so they, too, can enjoy their breaks.
As you go about your day today–whether you are on the road or at home or at the park or at work–would you take a minute to pray for our Lovepacs kiddos? And as you think about it on holidays and snow days where Lovepacs does not step in, would you continue to pray for these kids and their parents?
Loepacs exists to be an expression of God’s love
by engaging our communities to serve children in need.
You’d think that the hardest part of packing boxes to feed kids would be getting volunteers and donations. But it’s not. The hardest part for most of us is that we don’t get to see the faces of the kids we are serving.
I believe it’s in our nature to want to make a difference, but even in that, most of us want to SEE the before/after shots. We want to be able to hand the box to the child and see their face light up. We want to hear the story about how it gave them hope and filled their tummy.
Because Lovepacs works through the school counselors, we trust them to identify which kids need Lovepacs. In doing that, we forfeit our “right” to see the end results and have that satisfied feeling about ourselves. Being anonymous is sometimes harder than it seems.
So the next time you want to “see’ the faces of the kids you are helping to feed, picture your own kids and think of what a blessing it would be to you if someone came alongside you to feed them when you couldn’t–someone who didn’t rub it in your face or make a big deal of it. If you don’t have any kiddos of your own, look at the faces of these kids who give their time to help pack boxes of food. Envision their faces in your mind in place of those receiving the Lovepacs. Also, think about the opportunity you are providing them to serve other kids– hopefully helping to change the way they look at the world around them and the people they meet.
Please know that you are making an impact in a child’s life–even if you can’t see them.
I am constantly amazed at the volunteers for Lovepacs! This past Saturday was National Make a Difference Day. In The Colony, we had several Fill The Truck events around the city.
One of our volunteers, Julie, posted this on her facebook page:
“While we were waiting for Lovepacs donations at the park this morning, 2 children ran up to me. They were asking me, “Do you pray?! Do you pray!?” I said yes we pray for the children who receive the food and we pray for plenty of donations. They asked me if I could pray for their family too. This sweet little boy wanted to tell me the whole story, but the sister interrupted and said it was just “bad problems.” So we prayed altogether in the park about their family. It was awesome and so is Jesus!”
Thank you to those of you who give and volunteer with us! We don’t get to interact with the kids who get these Lovepacs. But we can pray for them and for the other kids in our city–just like Julie did.
Would you join us in doing that as we head into this holiday season? And as you are handing out candy or trick-or-treating with your family, would you take time to look each child in the face?
Thank you, Julie, for reminding me of why Lovepacs started. Need is everywhere. Sometimes we can help just by being available to listen…and pray
Such a simple name. Not very original. But, when you hear/read it, it probably sends a picture to your mind. Or you hear the ba-boom, ba-boom.
As Lovepacs has gotten underway, we have come across stories that we want to share. Stories of individuals who have been changed—some from giving, some from receiving, some from volunteering. Each with a heartbeat.
Heartbeats, by themselves are faint. Unless you have a stethoscope, you probably can’t hear them. But you can feel them. And you know they are there.
Have you ever been beside someone in a quiet place and heard their heartbeat? Did yours start to beat to the same rhythm? I believe that if we are still and listen—we will hear each other’s heartbeats. I also believe that we will be in tune to each other.
And the impact of hundreds of heartbeats almost overwhelms me. Can you imagine how far-reaching it could be?
We hope to share a bit of our heartbeat here at Lovepacs in this blog. And we hope to share a bit of your heartbeat. And we pray that our hearts beat together in rhythm to impact the world around us.