Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Backpack Trip - Making the Maximum Impact

Can you believe that it’s already time to plan the 2022 backpack trip?!! It’s sort of like how you’re never really finished with doing laundry. Something is always being washed, dried, folded, or dirtied. It’s a cycle, much like distributing backpacks. They are always being purchased, filled, collected, shipped, or distributed. Trish recently made the handy-dandy video below to discuss the massive impact backpacks are having on lives. More and more children are going to school. They are reaching higher grade levels. Families are being impacted in positive ways. And communities are building more schools and hiring more teachers. The impact is even more than Sowers4Pastors ever imagined it would be. Give the video a gander!

Sowers4Pastors has always made every effort to be good stewards of the resources with which God has entrusted them. They recognize that as their costs are going up, so are everyone else’s. It’s not just one area that is experiencing inflation. Food, gas, housing…Everything is more expensive. That’s one reason the ministry places a major focus on using donations where they will have the highest impact.

Trish said, “We know how hard times are right now. But if you’re interested in sending kids to school, having them hear the Gospel, impacting their families and communities, you might want to consider putting it where it will make the biggest impact. That has always been our goal. It’s a way you can make the biggest impact with a small donation.”

Allen is a math and logistics guy. He crunches the numbers over and over. He figures the cost of each trip to the ministry and the cost of the backpacks. Last year was difficult because the Penske truck rental doubled in price and the cost of shipping went up by 50%. This year, Allen is anticipating that the total cost may be doubled from just two years ago, if not more. But if they can collect enough backpacks, it still makes good fiscal sense for them to make the trip. Allen can calculate the cost of trucks, gas, and backpacks. There’s no way to put a monetary value on the benefit these kids receive between receiving a better education and hearing the Gospel.

Generally, just to give an idea, the trip will follow about the same schedule as last year, though maybe a week early. Allen is working on contacting people who are packing large quantities of backpacks and shipping out bulk shipments of empty backpacks and beginning the process of planning out the dates he will be at the different locations this year. 

With the price of gas, it is more important than ever for the ministry to make wise decisions concerning the routes and stops made. If you live anywhere close to the route, or are willing to travel, they will try to pick up your backpacks. They do not charge shipping fees on backpacks they collect along the way. Now, obviously, it wouldn’t be fiscally responsible to travel far off the beaten path to pick up one or two backpacks. This is a good opportunity for you to join together with your friends, neighbors, and church to fill backpacks. While there isn’t a magic number, it doesn’t take too many filled backpacks to make it worthwhile to make a stop.

Empty backpacks are sent out in boxes of 24. They have sent out boxes to people who fill less and return the empties but, in the grand scheme of things, filling two dozen backpacks isn’t all that much. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone! Get people involved. In the past, some people have made a huge impact by posting a supply list and having their Facebook community help out. Or maybe you would prefer to collect bulk school supplies and donate them to help the cause. That’s cool, too!
Life can feel overwhelming. This is your chance to focus on the principle of the 80-20 rule. If you’re not familiar with the 80-20 rule, it’s a theory which states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. In other words, a little can go a long way when you use it correctly! If you would like to receive a box (or many boxes!) of backpacks, or if you are somewhere near the established collection route and want to arrange a pickup, send Trish an email at

And, as always, the staff at S4P would be grateful for your word of mouth support and, even more importantly, your prayers - even if you can't pack a backpack, prayers for the success of this trip and smooth sailing are always appreciated!!

Here are maps from previous trips, that more-or-less approximate the path Sowers4Pastors expects to take this coming year. If you live along this path, and you're interested in helping, let's talk!

The Seattle to Maryland portion of the trip

The east coast portion of the trip

The "across the south" portion of the trip

-posted by Christi

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