For the last eleven years, we have handed out generously filled backpacks to the men and women who are our guests at lunch. The men and women we see daily are rarely remembered at Christmas. For many, these backpacks were their only presents. There were always lots of smiles on Backpack Day at the soup kitchen.
Sadly, due to COVID, we weren’t able to celebrate a 12th year of Backpack Giveaway in our usual way. Our dining room, where we’ve handed out backpacks and let guests choose their size and color, was closed due to the pandemic. In addition, we are only allowing a smaller number of volunteers into the building so we didn’t have enough help to sort and organize backpacks.
Instead, this year we organized a Knapsack Giveaway in mid-December. We bought knapsacks in two colors, one for men and one for women, and filled them with essential items including toiletries, hats, gloves, and scarves. We then handed out the knapsacks from the next-door Annex as guests were picking up hot lunches.
Last year we gave away over 800 backpacks. This year we gave away over 700 stuffed knapsacks.
We want to thank everyone for the donations of toiletries such as deodorant, hand lotion for hands chapped by the cold, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shaving cream, razors, chapstick, etc. Cold weather items such as gloves, hats, and scarves arrived as well.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who participated in this year’s Knapsack Giveaway. Thank you for bringing some of the joy and magic of the season to the guests at Daily Bread during this very difficult year.
This year, you brought the STUFF, and we’ll STUFFED the knapsacks. And, hopefully, in 2021, we will all be back in the backpack business again!
If you have any questions, please call or e-mail Ellen at 356-2551 or firstname.lastname@example.org