Remember the smell when you opened a new box of crayons? Waxy and warm with a bit of paper mixed in.
Remember what it was like to see all those new crayons? Sometimes there were new colors. The metallic crayons seemed magical. I almost hated to use them, to turn the neat, sharp points into smushy stubs. But there was always another year to look forward to, another start of school and a new box of crayons.
Crayons were just the start—pencils, notebooks with lines unfilled, sometimes a new lunch box. Back-to-school was my favorite time of year. I hated summer. I didn't particularly like to play kid's games, especially outside. I wanted to be left alone to read.
We moved every year (my father was in the military and that's what they did then) and the first place I would try to find in any house was some quiet corner to read. My very favorite was at the end of a long closet where there was a window. In front of it were some packing boxes just big enough and at just the right height for an 11-year-old girl to with a book and read and look out the window. Clothes were in front of the boxes, effectively shielding me from the outside world. Still, my mother would find me and make me go out and play. I was obedient, but I didn't like it.
That's why the new box of crayons was a very big deal.
It signaled the start of school where I could read and learn and stay inside working on extra credit projects.
As I look back, I'm not sure how my mom always had money for school supplies. Shopping was something we rarely did and then very carefully. When we shopped for groceries, mom always used a list. Every few months we'd get paper napkins. One of my sister's and my jobs when we got home was to open the package, lay the napkin out flat, cut it in half, stack them on a new pile for use at dinner. It was one of the many ways we were careful with our money.
New, store-bought clothes were not always on the list for back-to-school, but we always had school supplies, always a new box of crayons.
My crayons in a larger context
Back to school was my personal celebration, but celebrations in a larger context are a gift from our Lord. From the first Sabbath day of rest after creation, through the Old Testament festivals, to the church calendar today, seasonal events allow us time to reflect and worship. It gives our church an opportunity for outreach and ministry to our communities.
What I just said, for many church communicators is great in theory, but not always easy to carry out. As part of my desire to equip church communication saints to do the work of seasonal ministry I was working on fall holidays and it was in the midst of that work, that I discovered the Back-to-School Backpack ministries.
I foolishly pride myself on my involvement with many outreach and benevolence ministries, but this is one that somehow I was not aware of. I read about it with great interest.
As I read I thought about little kids, little people in homeless shelters, in a home where parents lost their jobs, in all sorts of situations who were faced with the embarrassment, sadness, and shame of being forced to go to school without needed and required supplies. Without a new box of crayons. I couldn't stop crying. Still can't.
I couldn't wait to pass this idea (go here https://wp.me/pDky9-7rX to PDFs of suggested bulletin inserts) on to others. That is what effective church communication is all about. Linking needs to those who can meet them. I'm doing what I can to inform and equip you. I am praying you will take your skills as a church communicator to pass on this need, to organize teams, to inspire people to give so that no child will go to school this fall without a new backpack filled with, among other needed supplies, a new box of crayons.
Following are other articles and links to Free Bulletin Inserts, Instagram Images, and PowerPoint slides to help you promote and remind people about this wonderful ministry:
PowerPoint Slides for Backpack Ministry to remind and motivate your congregation to give: https://wp.me/pDky9-88N
Instagram Images for Backpack Ministry to remind and motivate your congregation to give: https://wp.me/pDky9-898
Bulletin inserts and Flyers for Fall Back-Pack ministries: https://wp.me/pDky9-7rX