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The Difference a Backpack Makes for Kids in Poverty

Even before Covid, 11-year-old Elizabeth’s school bag was falling apart. It was a cheap hand-me-down to begin with, and after years of hard use, the straps were broken; pencils and other small items were constantly falling through the holes.

Unfortunately, for Elizabeth’s family, buying a new bag simply wasn’t an option.

Elizabeth lives in Uganda with her parents and her five siblings. For many years, her father didn’t have any work at all. The economic situation in their community is not good - there are very few opportunities available. But Elizabeth’s family trusted God and faithfully prayed for His provision.

God heard their prayers and answered in two big ways. First, Elizabeth was sponsored! With her sponsor's support, she got to go to school, she was enrolled at a Life Center where she could learn about Jesus and grow in faith, and she also received many other holistic needs like food assistance, clean water, and more! Second, Elizabeth’s dad finally found a job! He was able to rent a motorcycle and now serves the community as a boda boda driver - the local taxi service!

Things were definitely looking up for Elizabeth’s family, but the pandemic was a major setback. Her dad wasn’t able to earn as much, and inflation made everything more expensive. Plus, schools were closed for months on end.

By Christmas time last year, Elizabeth was just about out of hope. It seemed like nothing could possibly go right for her. Her school was set to finally open up again in the new year, but the thought of carrying her worn and dilapidated bag to and from school every day, picking up fallen pencils every few steps, made her squirm with embarrassment. 

That’s when her Life Center teacher announced that their Christmas Love Pack party was coming up! They would spend the whole day enjoying fun games and Christmas carols, reading the nativity story, and sharing a Christmas feast (with CAKE for dessert!). And every child would receive a Christmas gift!

Elizabeth was so excited! The party was the most fun she’d had in a long time. Her family can never afford treats like cake or soda - she savored every taste. And when she finally got to open her Christmas gift, she could hardly believe her eyes. Her sponsor had gifted her a Love Pack, and inside there was a brand new backpack!  

In addition to the Christ-centered Love Pack party, every Love Pack gift includes both fun and useful items. Everything from backpacks to soccer balls! Each gift is carefully selected in that child’s country so that your Love Pack donations can support the local economy and delight your child with familiar, culturally appropriate gifts. That’s how a Love Pack can bring so much joy to kids like Elizabeth.

Elizabeth jumped up and down hugging her new backpack. With that one gift, her world suddenly seemed full of possibilities again. Now, she couldn’t wait to go to school, and get back to work pursuing her dreams.

When she got home that night, she was still bouncing happily, and excitedly showed her parents her new gift. Seeing the joy on her face, her parents just looked at each other and smiled… God truly does provide!

For Elizabeth, a Christmas Love Pack filled her world with joy and hope. Will you give that same joy today? With your help, every child will receive the blessing of a Love Pack this year!

Written by:
Caitlin Sakuma

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