Another year, another incredible backpack giveaway for Debi Shackowsky.
She’s been collecting and giving away backpacks full of school supplies to under-privileged kids in her community for over a decade now. It’s why she was featured in the BLESSING chapter of Finding Joy Beyond The Headlines.
I sent Debi an email this morning asking about her 2019 giveaway. As expected, it was fantastic (my commentary in BOLD):
“The backpack event was another over the top event. 360 volunteers working 2 shifts filling 3650 backpacks (THAT’S THE MOST EVER!). All of our photos are posted in our 2019 backpack album. Feel free to copy and paste whatever photos you would like.
Our backpack blessings continue to grow with us as well. This year our two newest sponsors Bic Graphics and Wells Fargo joined us to volunteer (THIS IS AN ANSWERED PRAYER FOR SURE). Bic donated $61k in school Supplies (WOW!) and Wells Fargo presented us with a check for $4k (SO GREAT!). In addition to that I have future separate meetings scheduled with both company executives to discuss future further co- partnering with new initiatives for Marjorie’s Hope. One of those thoughts is to create and implement a teachers school supply store where teachers could come shop free of charge once a month for whatever classroom supplies they need (WE’LL BE PRAYING FOR THIS). What an amazing gift this store could be for our educators to help them offset personal out of pocket expenses.
... For me??? I simply look up with a smile and give thanks! I have stated before and still rings true for us today.... beautiful unexplainable events take place for MH All the time.
Ironically, today is my sister Marjorie’s 23rd memorial; a day in which we continue to keep her torch lit celebrating the life she loved to live.
When I met her, Debi’s generosity impressed me. It’s a quality you rarely find to this degree. I remember her explaining the need for school supplies in her neighborhood and her desire to make a difference in her sister’s memory. Debi started her non-profit, Marjorie’s Hope, in honor of Marjorie, who died 23 years ago in a car crash.
Not only does she do the backpack drive every year, but Debi also hosts a Teacher Boutique as well. This is a free clothing giveaway for teachers who cannot afford new clothes before the school year. The Marjorie's Hope Facebook page announced the good news:
"Tonight after we closed our doors we tallied our numbers for the week. They are as follows: 580 shoppers, gave away 3004 clothing items and 630 accessories. Between the last two (2) shopping events opened we have had 898 guests visit us to shop for 5040 clothing items and 1105 accessory items.. ALL FOR FREE!"
Debi was a perfect fit for the BLESSING chapter of this book. Jesus’ command to his disciples, “Feed my sheep”, was continually coming to mind when Debi and I chatted the first time. We were surrounded by backpacks and I felt like bigger things were coming.