Every year I invite local churches to donate gift bags for students at Penn State Berks. These bags are filled with snacks, drinks (Pepsi products, no Coke allowed as per PSU’s contract with Pepsi), school supplies and any encouragement notes, Bibles or Christian books they want to include.
The bags are dropped off at Kissinger’s Lutheran Church, which is right next to campus, during the days prior to students returning to school. Then members of CSF bring them over to campus and hand them out during the first week, last night to be specific.
The last two years we have had around 300 care packages. This year we got 407! We started handing them out around 6 PM and by 9 PM, when we only had about 15 left, we decided to call it quits. We’ll save these for another recruiting event on campus next week where we’ll hand them out.
What is amazing to me is that we gather these hundreds of packages from a very tiny group of churches. I believe, unless I missed something, we had only six churches participate (West Lawn United Methodist, St. John’s Lutheran, Community Evangelical, Faith Evangelical, Mohn’s Hill Evangelical, First Presbyterian). We also received care packages from a group of Penn State staff, coordinated by a big supporter of CSF.
Seven groups of people….400 care packages. Holy cow!
To put this in perspective, there are only 800 students who live on campus. If I could get another 5-6 churches on board we could have enough packages to just give one to every single student on campus. How cool would that be?
I suppose that is my prayer/goal for next year – 800 care packages!