Join Generous Hands at the Backpack Bonanza in August

Sister's face painting
School children attended the Backpack Bonanza in 2013.

By Madeleine Lakatos Fojtik

Income-qualifying children and their families looking for free back-to-school supplies, lunch, snacks and free haircuts may attend the annual Backpack Bonanza to be held on Saturday, August 16, at Lakeland Reformed Church in Vicksburg. Parents and guardians must pre-register their children; in addition, an adult must accompany all children during the event.

Sheri Louis, executive director of Generous Hands, Inc. in Vicksburg, prepares for months securing donations for the back-to-school bonanza event held each year.

A Generous Community Thank You
“Generous Hands, Inc. truly appreciates the support of the community,” Louis said. “This event could not happen without the many donations and all of the caring volunteers.” What does it take to staff an event like this? Last year, 57 volunteers helped out at the event.

Why is it called Backpack Bonanza? Louis refers to the dictionary definition of bonanza which is “a source of great and sudden wealth or luck.”

“I am not sure a backpack full of school supplies would seem to be a source of great or sudden wealth to most of us,” she said. “I do believe that for many of the children it is. The smiles on the kids’ faces will bring a source of great and sudden wealth to all of us working at the Bonanza.”

Last year’s event proved to be very popular, drawing more than 139 children and their families from the Vicksburg, Schoolcraft and Climax-Scotts school districts. Again this year, there will be a variety of backpack choices stuffed with school supplies, coupons, free haircuts and other items. Also provided is a free lunch served by the BUBS73 Foundation.

Another great opportunity to help Generous Hands will be on Thursday, October 16, at the annual Fall Extravaganza which will feature cooking demonstrations. It will be held at Lakeland Reformed Church, 10442 S. Sprinkle Road in Vicksburg. Doors open at 6 p.m. Many items will be auctioned off during the evening such as jewelry, services, quilted goods, original art and gift baskets. This event supports the Friday Packs. For more information please visit or contact Sheri Louis at 269-370-7965.

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