Backpack season is a really big deal in Western Honduras. Of course, the general idea is to distribute backpacks full of school supplies, with the help of people in North America. Some of the children receive a backpack from their sponsor. Unsponsored children receive backpacks, too. Now, this may not sound like a life-changing event to you, but to a child who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend school, a backpack means the world. Allen recently read a news story that said 1.2 million school-age kids in Honduras are not attending school. I’ll let that sink in.
Even when Sowers4Pastors started the sponsorship program, they didn’t fully grasp what a big deal it was to give children shoes and backpacks filled with school supplies. For the typical North American, it’s not a big investment. For the typical Honduran, the price is beyond their reach.
Last year, Kim Hall took one little boy shopping in Honduras to get an estimate of how much the necessary supplies cost. School supplies cost approximately four times as much in Honduras, even when you consider Allen and Trish’s travel expenses and shipping costs. (The video, below, shows the costs to purchase items locally, in Gracias.) Some people have worried that the backpack program (involving shipping in backpacks, rather than purchasing them locally) might be damaging the Honduran economy. That isn’t the case. The children who receive backpacks would not be purchasing supplies from a local store. They simply wouldn’t be attending school.
Sometimes the world’s problems seem so great that you may feel there’s nothing one person can do. Well, one person can provide the supplies to enable a child to receive an education. And one person can do it for less than the cost of a large pizza!
In case you’re thinking it’s too late for you to get involved, I have a personal challenge for you. (This is in no way sanctioned by Allen, Russell, or Trish, but I’m pretty sure they’ll approve. If not, we’ll see how well they proof my blog posts!) What would happen if you spent the coming months setting your spare change aside to purchase school supplies? Will it change the world? Well, no. But it will change one life and that’s a great place to start.
- posted by Christi (and approved by Trish )