It’s that time of year again! Last year, we had fantastic support and were able to distribute over 300 backpacks to those served at HOPE Missions, The LOT Project, Asher House, and South Main Chapel & Mercy Center.

Thanks to great community support, the backpacks we purchased last year are available for $354 $346.92 a case (24) when we order enough quantity (link). Last year, we purchased 13 cases to make 312 backpacks. They may not be Patagonia quality, but we still see some from time to time. We’re hoping to find sponsors for 14 cases. Please let me know if you want to sponsor a case!

Something Different

This year, we would like to try a different approach. Think Jockey Lot. Brainstorming with Nate Knox (The LOT Project), we came up with the idea of setting up stations with goodies and letting our guests pick up to 16 items (I just made up the number) using a punch-card system. The first station would provide the backpack and punch card. Then, the guests can “shop” the tables and pick items they want from the various stations set up around the area. We’re thinking there could be as many as 26 stations based on last year’s experience.

We met at South Main Chapel & Mercy Center on October 30th to discuss details. With a few tweaks, the “Jockey Lot” idea is a go. We will include a table (or two) with “free” items that don’t require a punch. We also felt like an extra case of backpacks would be good. That’s another 24 backpacks for a total of 336. I want to place the order as soon as possible.

Save the Date — Thursday, Dec 21st, 9:30am – Noon

First Presbyterian Church agreed to let us use their Family Life Center (basketball court-size) facility for the backpack packing event on Thursday, December 21st. The plan is to set up at 9:30 a.m. and allow our friends to fill their backpacks until about 11:30. Haven of Rest is providing their Christmas meal that morning, so there will be great food across the street by the time they’re done. We should be done by noon.

Items for the Backpacks

Now that the backpacks are on hand, we need to come up with a list of items to go into them! Here’s a list of items based on those we provided last year. Please coordinate with us before you purchase any of these items. We’ll need 336 of each item to fill all of the backpacks. As always, we greatly appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

  1. baby powder: 96, Chip Reaves, St John’s UMC
  2. blankets: 60, Wren Church of God.
  3. bus tickets (4 each)
  4. chapstick: Central Presbyterian
  5. deodorant: Brittany Cline (the Cline Family)
  6. duct tape
  7. energy bars: 50, Foothills Community Healthcare, Chevon Baker. Chick-Fil-A gift cards, Sunny Wells
  8. first aid kits: 56 (so far), Julie Huber
  9. flashlights (with batteries): 60 small flashlights, Chip Reeves, St John’s UMC
  10. gloves: 56 beanie and glove combo packs, unisex, plus 72 women’s gloves, Chip Reeves, St John’s UMC
  11. Hats: 26, Carla Overly, St John’s UMC
  12. hot hands, hand warmers: HOPE Missions
  13. hygiene kits
  14. ibuprofen (individual 2-packs)
  15. lozenges: HOPE Missions
  16. notebooks with a pen
  17. ponchos
  18. soap (bars): HOPE Missions
  19. socks (long, winter weight): 12, Carla Overly, St John’s UMC
  20. toboggan, beanie, stocking caps
  21. toothpaste, full-size: HOPE Missions
  22. water bottles: HOPE Missions
  23. zip ties: Sunny Wells
  24. ziplock bags (gallon): 336 of 336, Angela Willingham, Alston Wilkes Society

2023 sponsors, so far: 13-1/2 of 14 cases sponsored

  • 1 case: Rejuvenate Church
  • 1 case: Varennes Presbyterian Church
  • 1 case: United Way of Anderson County
  • 1 case: Central Presbyterian Church
  • 1 case: HOPE Missions
  • 1 case: Josh Colburn, Upstate Warrior Solution
  • 2 cases: Anderson First Baptist Church
  • 1 case: St John’s United Methodist Church
  • 1 case: Boulevard Baptist Church
  • 1 case: Clean Start
  • 2 cases: NewSpring Church – Anderson
  • 1/2 case: Anonymous donor

Price break! The sales manager is giving us a few $$ off of the case price. It’s now $346.92 / case. It’s not a huge thing, but it’s $7.08 a case saved!

Please let me know if you can sponsor a case or two this year. Email, text, call, or let me know! Thanks in advance!!

2 thoughts on “Backpacks 2023

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