It’s Back to School with Filled and Donated Backpacks!

LSMNJ - Backpack Drive

Some 500 lucky children are returning to school this fall with a new backpack filled with all sorts of great school supplies—thanks to the generous donations from 13 Lutheran churches across New Jersey. All of the backpacks collected this year will be distributed through LSMNJ programs statewide–including LSM of Camden, the Children’s Home in Jersey City, and children in New Jersey’s foster care system.

A heartfelt thank you to all our participating churches that made our Back to School Backpack program a success!

Christ Memorial LC, East Brunswick
Gloria Dei LC, Chatham
Good Shepherd LC, Somerville
Holy Communion LC, Berlin
Holy Trinity LC, Hasbrouck Heights
Living Waters LC, Ringoes
Prince of Peace LC, Princeton Junction
Our Redeemer LC, Dumont
St. John LC, Summit
St. Mark, LC, Hamilton
St. Matthew Trinity, LC, Hoboken
St. Paul LC, Closter
Spruce Glen LC, Glen Gardner

Mystery Man Pays It Forward!

When Dawn Jennings of Holy Communion Church in Berlin, NJ dashed to her local Shoprite to purchase some 75% off backpacks, she was in for a very nice surprise.

Knowing her mother wanted to stretch the church’s backpack purchase kitty as much as possible, Sara Jennings was excited to see the “really nice” Shoprite backpacks on sale-down from $20 to $5. She immediately called Dawn who, with her husband to help, drove straight to the store. They drew the attention and questions of curious shoppers as they put 20 backpacks into their carts. Dawn explained the backpacks were for their church and would be filled with school supplies and donated for children who have nothing to help them start the school year.

At the checkout, the cashier also asked, “Why so many backpacks?” Recounting the purpose once again, Dawn was caught off guard when the man behind her in line handed a credit card to the cashier and said, ”Put those on my card.”

Happily surprised and touched by his generosity, Dawn asked the man for his name and address or e-mail. “Our pastor will want to thank you and give you a donation receipt for your tax return.” This Good Samaritan declined their several times saying that the church was doing a really good thing and he simply wanted to help in his own way.

After the cashier had completed the purchase, she returned the card and regular receipt to the mystery man who smiled and just walked away. Relating the story, even a week later there was still wonder in Dawn’s voice, “It’s wonderful to be reminded, when you’re least expecting it, that there are still good people in the world.”