I don’t know about you, but I’m just starting to relax into the long summer days so can’t believe it’s almost back to school—and time for the Congregation Council’s annual Backpacks for Bayview initiative!
Owned and operated by the Venerable Canon Nina Pickerrell, Bayview Mission provides services, food, and supplies to residents of the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhoods. Visiting the mission, it’s impossible not to be inspired by its Loaves and Fishes-like atmosphere. Out of an unassuming residential garage goods, and goodwill, flow with abundance. Moreover, Nina has earned strong bonds and deep trust within the community and serves with wisdom and understanding.
Back to School is an exciting time, full of anticipation and possibility—but it can also come with jitters and trepidation. According to Nina, there are at least 250 Bayview children at risk of returning to school without basic supplies. This is not only detrimental to learning; it can foster that awkward unease about not “fitting in.”
Last year, Grace congregants came together to provide well over fifty backpacks stuffed with supplies. The children were thrilled, not least because each pack came with a personalized card, handwritten by many of you. Nina told me about seeing one girl brandish the note to her mother, exclaiming, “Look, it has MY name on it!” It’s lovely how small gestures can create such a big impact. As Nina put it, that child felt seen, valued, and cared for.
This year, you can help spread joy in several ways. Any or all will be appreciated!
- Once again, we hope to provide at least fifty backpacks. To make this easy, please purchase items from our Amazon Wishlist. This represents what Bayview families have requested. Items need to be received on or before August 12. Please do not drop supplies off at Grace.
- Write a handwritten card. On August 7, a card writing table will be set up during coffee hour after the 11 am service. Or email Phoebe Campbell for a list of names to write cards at home.
- On August 14, join the Grace Youth Group for a Pizza and Packing party after the 11 am service to help to sort and pack the supplies. Youth and Youth at Heart are welcome!
- On August 15, backpacks will be distributed to the Bayview families at 9:30 am, and we need several volunteers to assist. This will take place at the Bayview Mission. Contact Phoebe for more details.
Most of all, thank you for your caring generosity!