It’s hard to believe that in America, the richest nation in the world, children are going hungry. Sadly, that is a hard truth in the world today. Even in our own communities there are many children living below the poverty line, and while schools work hard to make sure all children are eating enough during the week, there’s still the weekend.
In Clatskanie and St Helens, concerned people got together and began a chapter of what is known as The Backpack Program. The Backpack Program provides school children with a backpack of food every Friday, so they will not go hungry on Saturday and Sunday.
We found out these participating schools had waiting lists for children because so many more were in need than they could serve. This meant children would line up on Friday, and they would pass out as many backpacks as they could, and after they ran out, the kids at the end of the line just went home empty handed. This literally broke our hearts.
Hearing about this wonderful program and their waiting list, Wauna Credit Union staff took action! All across our service area our staff donated money, sold candy, and raffled prizes. Some employees even set up automatic payroll deductions to assist this amazing cause! Members participated too, by buying candy at our branches and donating to be part of raffles for a beach weekend and Trailblazers tickets.
We have raised money since the beginning of the year, and as school comes to a close for the summer, we are proud to say, there is no more waiting list! All of the needy children at the participating schools are getting backpacks of food every Friday, the program was even able to expand to the high school to help older kids who need it.
As the fundraiser comes to a close, we are helping more than 120 children and have donated more than $5500 to assist the caring volunteers who organized this program, purchase food, and come in to fill backpacks every week. We are so proud to help in this smallest of ways!
If you know of a great program that could use help, please let us know. Or, if you would like to start a Backpack Program at your school, we are glad to put you in touch with the organizers we worked with. It’s the small acts of kindness that can really change the world, and the acts of regular people trying to make a difference. We at Wauna Credit Union try to honor our communities every single day!