75 Backpacks

The crew: Jacob, Lucas, Will and Mike
Jacob, Jenna and Maddie
Jacob, Maddie and Jenna

In early June I ordered backpacks for the Ciriza/Driscoll Project. This is our third year with this task. I want our grandchildren to participate in a service project and to spend quality time together. I always purchase a few extra backpacks from Ross or TJ Maxx because we have extra supplies.

Will, me, Lucas and Jacob
Lucas, me, Will and Jacob

I prayed about adding 24 more backpacks to our project, making a total of 72 instead of 48. In June I ordered the backpacks along with some other supplies from Amazon. Within two weeks I received two boxes of  backpacks, with an explanation that the last order was running late. With no delivery date given I panicked and felt terrible because I was thinking that I took on too much.
“Why do I do this to myself? I should have kept it at 48!”  I added the backpack headache to the long list of prayers and waited for God’s reply.

Goodbye, Target

Since I no longer set foot in Target, I had three other choices for the rest of the supplies. Between Mike and me we carefully priced out our options. Amazon was the big winner for the bulk supplies like rulers, erasers, glue sticks , pencil pouches and some of the 2″ binders. The binders, along with the backpacks, were the most expensive of all supplies. The binders retailed from $4.00 to over six dollars. Staples had a great deal but you could only order 10 at a time. After three orders they cut me off, so I had Jenny and Sonja both order 10 each. As much as I tried to keep the inventory organized, I ordered too many binders but in the end it all worked out.

Hello, Walmart

I was never a regular Walmart shopper but things have changed. I love Walmart! And the school supplies were actually the best deals, 35 cents for spiral notebooks, crayola crayons 50 cents, and the notebook paper was only 84 cents.

As I walked around Walmart,  I discovered Fancy Feast cat food for 11 cent cheaper than the grocery stores. I was hooked, so now I make my weekly run to Walmart. I pray that they don’t go Woke!

The Donors

My first call is always to my dear friend Marianela. I asked her to pray about donating. She quickly texted me and said she was in.  Marianela offered to pay for the backpacks! Then I got a text message from Tess a family friend, who also donated. Mary, who was part of our homeless ministry, and our neighbor Adele were quick to respond to my Facebook request. Mikos and Jenny were more generous than in past years. Sonja and Russ donated more supplies and binders, and my sister Jo generously donated  as well.  Everything was falling into place, but I was still missing the last 24 backpacks.

After much thought and prayer I received a revelation to cancel the last 24 backpacks and reorder them. Within a week they were delivered!


My birthday dinner
Sonja, me and Mikos

My Birthday

I’m like a little kid when it comes to my birthday. I love to celebrate but I had this big project of filling the backpacks that I had to put on hold because we went on a weekend staycation. As much as I tried to relax, the project was like a dark cloud hovering over my every thought. Then I received a disturbing message from my friends in Nepal.


Jyoti, Indra and some of the children that they care for


I had traveled to Nepal and to the Tibet Border only once, but have made lifetime friends. As much as I would like to support their ministries, it was out of the question this time because I had the expense of the backpacks.

Indra and Jyoti

Indra and Jyoti run an orphanage in Katmandu, Nepal. I have been there and have met the children that they have rescued from being trafficked . Aside from the orphanage they also travel up the Himalayan mountains to minister to others in remote villages. Their means of transportation is by motorcycle. Indra was on his way to a village for a baptism when he was injured. He is in the hospital still recovering.  I promised to pray for Indra but could not commit to giving any money. It was weighing heavy in my heart, but all I could do was pray. I prayed and prayed until the Lord spoke to me at Mass.

Listening To God

On Thursday,  the feast day of Saint Lawrence, I received a message from the Lord. The reading was from 2 Cor. 9:6-10


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