By Paula Schriemer, Generous Hands board member
Generous Hands has been busy this fall!
In anticipation of school starting, Generous Hands, in partnership with South County Community Services, hosted an annual Backpack Bonanza on August 5 at the GH/SCCS offices. Not only did kids receive new school backpacks with school supplies, but they were also treated to a crafts table, their choice of a new book and a package of hygiene items. The Meijer corporation helped fund this event and also provided snacks for the kids that day. Other organizations assisting the Bonanza:
- ChapNaz Community Clothes Closet and St. Martin’s Church provided gently used school clothes for kids.
- Be Smart: a gun safety organization which provides helpful information to parents and grandparents about the importance of secure firearm storage to keep kids safe. Find out about its efforts at www.besmartforkids.org.
- First Day Shoe Fund: a Kalamazoo nonprofit which provides new athletic shoes to elementary school-aged kids. Generous Hands has partnered with FDSF for several years to help Vicksburg kids “put their best foot forward”. Learn more about them at www.firstdayshoefund.org
A total of 32 volunteers helped at the event, and overall, 269 kids have received school supplies from the Backpack Bonanza.
Generous Hands partnered again with South County Community Services at the Harvest Festival on September 24 at the Vicksburg Historical Village. 320 kids decorated kid-sized pumpkins with stickers and markers on that beautiful sunny fall day.
On October 1, GH was on the receiving end of a huge food donation from the Strike Out Hunger Softball Tournament organized by VHS Athletic Director Mike Roy. Over 5,000 pounds of food and 59 pounds of hygiene items were contributed, the biggest single food donation Generous Hands has ever received!! Vicksburg is a generous community!
Generous Hands also participated in the Burg Days of Summer, the Transportation Safety Carnival and the Vicksburg Community Tailgate. The Generous Hands Blessing Boxes continue to be stocked and snacks are being delivered to each of the VCS buildings to help feed hungry kids. GH Executive Director Sheri Louis reports that this fall, Generous Hands is serving 136 families with 313 children (an 8% increase over last year at this time) and that new children and families are being registered every day. Louis says “We are looking forward to seeing lots of kids and families at our Holiday Party, co-sponsored by South County Community Services, on December 2.”
Learn more about Generous Hands and our programs at generoushands.org.