Appalachian Christmas Outreach
|North Carolina Baptists collected, filled, and delivered 11,355 Christmas backpacks in 2017. Praise be to God!
Our goal for 2018 is 12,000 backpacks. Won't you and your church help us make a child's Christmas life-changing?
The Appalachian Coalfields Ministry, sponsored by NCBM, seeks to meet physical and spiritual needs of people living in the Appalachian Area. Working with scores of ministry centers and small churches in five Appalachian states, we help mobilize volunteers and resources to meet needs. One of the greatest ministry needs in this area occurs around Christmastime. NCBM is calling on churches statewide to respond to this need through Appalachian Christmas Outreach 2018
. Our goal is to collect 12,000 backpacks
of items to be distributed to Appalachian children in areas of need in December 2018. Statewide collection date will be Saturday, November 3
. Collection areas will be set up across the state for churches to bring their backpacks.
What kind of difference does this ministry make? Click here to see responses from some of the children who have recieved backpacks.
WAYS YOU AND YOUR CHURCH CAN HELP:
1) COLLECT ITEMS AND PREPARE BACKPACKS
to be taken to a regional distribution center on Saturday, November 3
(a list of collection sites will be listed below later in the year). We encourage churches to begin collecting and filling the packs early – and throughout the year.
Each zippered school backpack should include:
1) Small items of NEW clothing such as winter hats, gloves, socks, underwear, rolled t-shirts
2) Small pop-top canned food such as ravioli, tuna, beef stew, vegetables, fruit (3-4 cans)
3) At least one NEW, age appropriate non-breakable toy (no toy weapons, please!)
4) Hygiene items including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, washcloth, brush or comb, shampoo, deodorant
(try to fit these items into a one gallon Ziploc bag).
5) A children’s Bible or youth Bible (no one version is required)
6) Fresh, wrapped candy (no chocolate please, as it may melt)
7) A copy of "The Christmas Story"
**We ask that you enclose a copy of the Christmas story in each bag. You can download and print a .pdf copy of it here from our website (see link above). Packing hint: The Bible and Christmas Story flyer seem to fit best in the front pocket of the backpack.
AGE GROUPING and LABELING
. Each backpack should be labeled boy or girl as well as the appropriate age. New
: Age groupings for this year are 4-7, 8-10 or 11-15. Due to labels falling off in previous years, we are going to a ribbon system for labeling starting in 2018.
A royal blue (or similar) ribbon will indicate a boy’s backpack. A pink ribbon will indicate a girl’s backpack. In addition, a yellow ribbon will indicate that the backpack is for ages 4-7, a green ribbon for ages 8-10, and a red ribbon for ages 11-15.
We ask that you prepare your backpack as you would for your own child or grandchild, with new items, not used ones. This quality gift may be the only Christmas present this child receives, and will be a witness of Christ’s love!
ACO Associational Representatives
- Several have agreed to be Appalachian Christmas Outreach representatives for their association in 2018. They are available to give advice, support, and to possibly come speak to you and your church about how to be involved in this ministry effort. Please contact them directly if you would like their assitance. If your association is not listed, feel free to contact the representative closest to you.
(This list is being updated and will be posted shortly.)
2) BE A COLLECTION SITE FOR YOUR AREA
for the Christmas backpacks. We need churches and/or association offices who can have volunteers ready to meet and assist those who might bring backpacks by on Saturday, November 3
between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm, and who can provide either an enclosed trailer, box truck. or building space for the backpacks to be stored. The collection site will then be responsible for transporting backpacks collected to either Shelby Mission Camp or Red Springs Mission Camp (near Lumberton) on Friday, November 9 for processing that will take place the next day, Saturday, November 10.
3) PARTNER WITH AN APPALACHIAN MINISTRY and/or DELIVER BACKPACKS TO A MINISTRY SITE
. Some ministry sites in the Appalachian region have requested NC churches to come conduct a Christmas outreach event in conjunction with the distribution of the backpacks. These events may include preparation of food, games, a gospel presentation, etc . Your church would deliver and distribute filled backpacks to the ministry site at the event and participate in ministry activities, which will be planned according to the desires and direction of the ministry center/church. Teams wishing to participate must register through NCBM’s Appalachian Coalfields Partnership. Instructions will be sent to the team leader. We will also need some to simply deliver backpacks to ministry sites.
UPDATE: Requests for partners to help in Christmas Outreach events will be collected in April. After that, matches will be made. If your church is interested in being a partner for one of these events, please check and send this form to Mark Abernathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Sites will be listed later in the year - please check back)
Plan to bring your backpacks to one of these locations on Saturday, November 3 between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm
. The contact number provided is only in case you need to contact someone while en route to deliver your backpacks. For questions prior to collection, contact Mark Abernathy at