Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | July 1, 2024

A Gift that Gives in Many Ways: The Grace Cathedral Backpack and Card-Writing Drive 

Blog|Steph McNally

You can contribute to our backpack drive through our Amazon Registry here.

Each year, we are overwhelmed by the generosity with which our community at Grace Cathedral, led by the Congregation Council, responds to our drive for backpacks and school supplies for Bayview Mission. Through this generosity, we have been able to ensure many children and their families can enter a school year with the equipment and confidence they need to flourish. 

This drive removes a source of financial stress from families struggling to make ends meet in one of the most expensive cities on earth. “It is easy to overlook families who cannot purchase nice backpacks loaded with school supplies,” the Ven. Canon Nina Pickerrell, Executive Director of Bayview Mission, has remarked. Our drive allows us to demonstrate to the families of Nina’s ministry we see them and carry them in our hearts. 

Beyond easing a financial need, our drive is designed to contribute to the emotional flourishing of our precious young people. The difference that starting a school year with the necessary materials makes to a child’s confidence and sense of belonging is profound. Each backpack we send to Bayview Mission has a personal note for the child who will receive it. We have heard from Canon Pickerrell that this hand-written note is often part of the gift that is received with the most joy and wonder. 

This year, we are also writing cards for youth in foster care served by Braid Mission. Braid Mission’s Cards of Hope program ensures that youth who may otherwise never receive a birthday card or note of encouragement know that they are loved and cared for. We are excited to be partnering with this ministry of our church. Braid Mission will be giving a special presentation on their work, including Cards of Hope, on July 21 after the 11 am Eucharist, sharing their perspectives on ways to support and encourage young people facing challenges. 

This drive is an important source of giving. It also is an initiative that gives back to the giver, allowing us to participate in something that will have an impact on others. As you can see from the images, there is joy to be had in this drive! There are many ways in which you can be part of this joy: 

Make a contribution: Please visit our Registry Page to make a donation or purchase items. We are inviting congregants this year to consider making a donation to a bulk purchase fund. This will allow us to reduce the amount of packaging and deliveries we receive; through this eco-friendly approach, we are caring for creation as well as each other!  

Write cards: Please email Steph McNally if you would like to write some cards. 

Help us pack and deliver the backpacks: We would love your help packing our backpacks on August 4, after the 11 a.m. service! 

Thank you for being part of the Grace Cathedral community, and for all the ways you bring grace to the world! 

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