Backpack Drive 2013

It’s that time of year again!  Backpack Drive time!  And, I L.O.V.E. this time of year pretty much more than any other time because of the fun and good times I get to have as a result.

The Backpack Drive is an annual event whose beneficiaries include the children of the families in the HAVEN (Helping Abuse and Violence End Now) program.  Each year as the end of the summer draws near, a call goes out to the community for school supplies and backpacks.  There’s no specific list of supplies they look for; instead, they ask for backpacks and, if possible, school supplies for kids between the ages of 5 and 17.

I love the work this group does to end intimate partner violence.
I love the fact that children benefit.
And every year we contribute to these efforts in honor of my father, a teacher, who passed away unexpectedly, at the age of 56.

This year marks a special time for our family as we await the arrival of the newest little family member.  While much of the family is driving to and from the hospital, anxiously pacing, texting, and posting updates to Facebook, I figured that I would pass the time shopping for school supplies and assembling the backpacks; reflecting on the memory of a man who would have so, so, soooo loved meeting his grandchildren.

He was a persistent guy when it came to our discussions of (grand)children.  In retrospect, I realize now that we were both selfish.  He would attempt to convince me of how great it would be for me to bring a new life into this world.  (Translation:  He wanted grandchildren.)  I spent equal energy rebutting and defending my perspective by reminding him of how old he was and that a steady diet of crushed peas was next on his meal plan. (Translation: I did not want children.)   Meanwhile, I would sit and hope like hell that one (or both) of my brothers would grow up and get it together enough to give the poor guy a grandchild or two because I sure as hell wasn’t going to be doing it.  Unfortunately, he never made it, yet his spirit lives on in each of us, including his grandchildren.  We all miss him dearly and we keep his memory alive in our own ways.  This is mine.

This year marked a change in the shopping strategy.  I got coupons which saved me $15 off my total. YAY!!!

...the coupons!...
…the coupons!…

I also had two helpers: Mini and Babe.

...mini & babe - ready to roll...
…mini & babe – ready to roll…

Each were helpful in their own ways by searching out and finding the supplies on our list.  We found paper, notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, Sharpies, erasers, pencil sharpeners, index cards, folders, and all kinds of good stuff.  It was a GREAT day at Target!!!

... school supplies ...
… school supplies …
... got it! ...
… got it! …
... prepping for the assembly line ...
… prepping for the assembly line …

All in all I put together 20 backpacks.  Lots of good stuff for the kiddos!
... the loot ...

… the loot …

I’ll be dropping these off on Monday….and if we’re all a little lucky I’ll be an auntie by then (YAY!!!)

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