As you probably remember, I joined Junior League of Austin (JLA) this year. Our first year project is the Food In Tummies (FIT) program. I'll give you the thirty second summary: there are two elementary schools in East Austin with 96+% of the kids on free or reduced breakfast and lunch and the area is strangely void of regular grocery stores or even a Walmart. Thus between financial need and a lack of nearby grocery options, these families often don't have enough food to feed their kids on the weekend. Enter JLA's FIT program delivering backpacks of food to students on Fridays so that they get healthy meals over the weekend and come to school Monday ready to learn.
This past Friday morning I did my first volunteer shift of delivering the backpacks to the classrooms. At first, I have to admit, I was unenthused. I was going to the farther away of the two schools, had to be in the car by 6:30a and was worried I'd be late to work. However, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The benefit of being on the road so early was the traffic wasn't a problem, even going through downtown and the school wasn't really that far.
And the kids were adorable! We fill these over-sized tupperware containers in each classroom and the kids would ask if they could help or they'd hold the door for you or say thanks. And they are all so little and with such smiley faces. The teachers were also very nice, thanking us and making sure we had everything we need to deliver the food.
I loved it.
I can't wait to do my next backpack delivery shift and am making a point of signing up for as many as I can. It was the best way ever to start a Friday.