Easing Poverty with a Backpack

IMG_6796Perhaps you have read or participated in Point of Impact’s annual Christmas Backpack Program. Perhaps you have donated, but are not sure what happens after a Christmas backpack is purchased. In Honduras, the public school system is free until a student reaches the sixth grade. However, the majority of these children come from families that live on less than two dollars a day—school supplies and uniforms are never an option.

But this year, five hundred children now have the supplies they’ll need to be prepared for school.

Point of Impact also had an exciting addition to the Christmas backpack program through a partnership with Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM). The impact would now move beyond Honduras and back to the city of Memphis to bring hope to urban families struggling to provide school supplies for their children. As the new school year approaches in the Fall of 2015, MAM will be delivering the backpacks and school uniforms to students in need throughout inner-city Memphis.

IMG_6627Last week, as the new school year began in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a line of eager Point of Impact students peered across the room as they anxiously awaited their name to be called.

“Nashua Samara!”  She jumped up from the floor where she sat and ran to greet Ruth Hamilton (POI co-founder) with a hug. Now that Nashua can attend school with a backpack, a uniform, and school supplies, she doesn’t have to worry. With Nashua’s mother selling tortillas to get by, she wouldn’t be attending school without the support of our gracious donors.

“Growing up in middle class America, I never knew of a life in which I couldn’t go to school because I didn’t have the supplies I needed.  When I read the stories of the children in Honduras, my heart broke.  It is almost impossible to break the cycle of poverty if you aren’t able to go to school. Education opens doors, and it’s something we take for granted in the United States. For the price of a new pair of shoes I didn’t need, I was able to make a difference in the life of a child.  What is hardly a sacrifice on my part may mean the world to a little boy or girl and his or her family. I feel doubly blessed that I had a part in providing a backpack and uniform to a kid in Memphis this year as well.  I have several friends who teach in the schools in Memphis, and it warms my heart to see ministries like POI and MAM walking alongside them as they seek to show Christ to their students.” 

—Kaci Robertson, Ministry Donor

For new POI student, Jesenia Elizabeth, being a part of the backpack program was more than she could ever dream of. At ten years old, Jesenia has experienced things no child ever should. Her academic success has been hindered by an undeserving poverty. 

“I received a red backpack with notebooks, boxes of pens and pencils, a sharpener, oh and I also received shoes! But, what I liked most was the “paquito” (a book required for her fifth grade class.) My mom told me my new things from the people at POI were very pretty and that I should take good care of it! This school year I hope I pass fifth grade. I really like going to the board, and also doing homework.”  

—Jesenia Elizabeth, POI Student

On behalf of Nashua, Jesenia, and all of their POI classmates—thank you! We are overwhelmed by the generosity of those who gave. Words could never express our gratitude, nor the depth of the impact made on these children’s lives because of your willingness to give.

  Who is blogging?

Hannah Hamilton is the daughter of David and Ruth Hamilton, founders of Point of Impact. She first traveled to Honduras at 6 years old and has been passionate about advocating for the impoverished ever since. To read more from Hannah, click here.



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