A new school year brings a mixture of excitement and anticipation to most students as they prepare to begin a fresh term. Shopping expeditions for new clothes, shoes, classroom supplies, and lunchboxes are routine to the majority of American school children. However, to hundreds of thousands of impoverished children in Appalachia, another fall only signals another season of humiliation and pain.
Garbed in tattered hand-me-downs and worn-out shoes, these children will be subject to the cruel taunts of “regular” kids. They will be lucky to scrounge up a well-used pencil and a few sheets of notebook paper with which to do their class work. The only thing some of them will be able to look forward to is the breakfast and hot lunch provided by the feeding program. For many, it will be the only food they receive that day.
The LORD’s Child seeks to allow disadvantaged children to go back to school with a measure of dignity and pride through its OPERATION BACKPACK program. Each August, hundreds of local children receive a new backpack, basic school supplies, and a pair of new sneakers. These simple blessings can make a huge difference in the self-esteem of kids caught in tough situations.