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Entries in GM (2)

Thursday
Sep062012

Delivering Backpacks Becomes a Bigger Lesson

Last month I had the chance to participate in a backpack drive to benefit needy kids in the DC area.

This was part of a campaign that GM Northeast organized and it started with a giveaway on a local blog.  My participation was small. I received a beautiful GM car, a Cadillac XTS that was already pre-filled with backpacks and school supplies. I did scour my house to find additional items I could donate. But really, all I had to do was deliver the goods on a pre-determined day. That said, the experience turned into so much more...

Here's the car. I have to say, as I continue to shop for cars, I LOVE the new features like the review camera.

Cadillac XTS with rearview camera

I can imagine that has saved more than one life!

I had the Twofer come with me for several reasons. One, it was summer and they were not in camp that week and I had used up all of my play date favors. Two, we had a 40 minute drive into DC and I wanted their feedback on the features found in the backseat of this beautiful car (the pull up window shades were a HIT!) Three, it was the perfect time to discuss exactly WHY we were delivering a trunk load of backpacks and school supplies. They need to understand many kids start school with little else than the clothes they are wearing. Many kids don't even bring a lunchbox to school.

The girls had a moment to think about that.

Operation Backpack at Central Union Mission in DC

We pulled into the Central Union Mission and unloaded our goods. It was a pleasure to meet some of the staff and also fellow DC area blogger, Vicky from The Mummy Chronicles.

After the delivery and the photo session it was time to go.

I wasn't quite done.

It felt strange to hop into my Cadillac (even if it was only a loaner) and drive back to my suburban life without somehow showing my girls what "homeless" and "needy" really means.

I wanted those words to be more than just words...in quotes. I asked the director for a short tour of the shelter.

Central Union Mission is a shelter and half-way home for homeless men in the DC area. The do, however has lots of services for families including a food bank where they give out groceries, as well as the backpack program for kids who need school supplies, and a little extra love. There is a religious element to the place but it's not overwhelming and my take is a little God never actually hurt anyone.

We saw the rooms where the men stay in their various stages of progress: the bunk room for those right off the street to the small rooms (with doors that close for privacy) for those who have stuck around and are working toward a goal (high school diploma, drug rehab).

The girls were wide eyed and asked me a few whispered questions.

What really struck me, was the kitchen.

Central Union Mission kitchen via Instagram

This little kitchen serves three meals a day. It serves over 150,000 meals in a year.

That is a lot of hunger.

We got back into our fancy loaner car.

The girls as a LOT of questions.

We had a frank, open, honest discussion about just how lucky we are to have what we have. We discussed the two little girls waiting for their mom to pick up groceries at the shelter. We discussed how easy it is for people to go from ok, to needy.

I want to say a special Thank You to GM Northeast for donating to Operation Backpack, for giving me the opportunity to participate, and for the loaner car.

Have you ever taken your children to a shelter, soup kitchen, or something similar? I would love to hear what your kids thought.

Janine

Monday
Jul232012

GM Wants to Help You with Back to School Supplies

A few months ago I test-drove a Chevy Eco for a week as a treat for simply being a Mom.  Now I'm partnering with GM Northeast to help fill backpacks of school supplies for local families! 

Operation Backpack

I'll be getting a GM loaner car to use to deliver much-needed backpacks filled with all sorts of school supplies to Operation Backpack.  My twins will be entering 4th grade and I am expecting to spend $50 or $60 on supplies...NOT including a new backpack and lunchbox! That is an incredible burden on many families in our area who have already been affected by the mortgage crisis, layoffs, and more. If you think you can help, I encourage join us August 9th as we deliver supplies for Operation Backpack to Central Union Mission at 1350 R Street, NW Washington, DC 20009. You might also consider donating direct to the Operation Backpack program at Volunteers of America.

Do YOU Need Help with School Supplies?

Lands End wheeled backpack my twins use

One local blogger is giving away $100 gift card for a local family to win to help purchase school supplies. Not only that, the winner will be chauffered around in a GM loaner car as they shop!  Want to enter or do you know someone who really needs the help?

Visit  The Mummy Chronicles to nominate someone you think might benefit from the generosity of both GM, and Vicky who is hosting the giveaway.

Janine

Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post though I will receive a loaner car for a week for the purposes of delivering filled backpacks to Central Union Mission. All opinions expressed here are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.