I’m pretty excited to share this with you!
Success. That’s a good word to describe our Back to School Events. But this year, it just doesn’t do it for me. I think I might describe it as ‘moving’. There were a lot of lil’ details about this year’s event that made it extra special, at least for me. The teams that committed to the children went above and beyond the call. Each volunteer served with a smile and a cheerful giving spirit. We were blessed by Vera Bradley for donating some extra special backpacks. As most of you know, I normally don’t get to share many of the children’s faces. But, as you can see I get to this year. I love that! It makes giving feel so much more like you’re truly making a difference when you can see and connect with a child’s face and like I said before when you can see the pure joy on their faces it just does something to your insides.
Not only all of that and more, I did something different this year. Something I knew I was being called to do but if I’m totally open about it I was apprehensive and not a 100% trusting of what I felt God leading me to do. However, just like everything else that God has and is doing he blessed and did things that can’t be explained. This year I felt led to open The Tack Room for this event. It’s the first time I’ve ever opened it to the “public”. Normally the majority of The Tack Room’s children come through certain organizations. It has been one of my highest priorities to protect The Tack Room from those who want to abuse the system and I knew opening it up to the public that could very well happen. But it didn’t. It was beautiful. I’m actually not sure who was blessed more, me, my volunteers, or the people who visited The Tack Room. What I do know is that God met needs. He impacted lives. I was told people left with tears in their eyes because of an overflowing thankful heart. I’m not telling you all this trying to highlight anything I did, but to put a spotlight on God and what He did. The whole event was perfect. From those who gave and volunteered, to those who came and received.
Okay, so on to numbers. We served 90 children the day of the event and like always that number will increase between now and the start of school with new children coming in. We collected 2983 supplies, that’s up 596 supplies from last year. Which is incredible because we ran out of many of the supplies before the end of the event. We don’t open the doors till 2:00 but people were coming and parking to get in line at 12:30. The Tack Room alone spent $714.61 for this event, which is a blessing in the fact that we operate solely on public donations. Which means this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for those who give monetarily. So a huge thank you to you too!
To wrap this up, thank you. Sincerely. Thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s event. You will be blessed for all that you have done. The thing is, for those who took part, it didn’t end with the event. Your gifts and giving will continue to reach children in need. The things that you gave will be used throughout the year, the clothes and stuffed animals will continue to warm children and give them something to hold on to. The smiles you shared, the encouraging words, the gift of giving, the impressions on lil’ hearts those will last a lifetime.
Thank you, volunteers! Christine Lucas, Terry Pressley, Jeff Lewis, Jennifer Tillman, Stephanie Brendell, Shelby Wilkie, Jennifer Marsh, Ashley Styles, Allyssa Bray, Tierra Johnson, Lynden, Sam, and Hannah Stanley.
Thank you, teams! Donna Worley, Amy King VanGorder, Joshua Williams with Mountain View Church, Donna Mcminn Mueller, and Barbara Holderman Taylor.