Backpacks Filled with Love

By: Article and Photos by Skyler Patton

November 7th, 2017

“When you move into a consciousness of service, you realize that the first thing you have to do is love. If you drop out of loving, you have also dropped out of service, and you may be doing things mechanically. You are no longer being of service; you are now being of “slaving,” where you feel like you are a slave to something. When loving comes back in, then the serving reappears.” – John-Roger, D.S.S.

As the temperatures soared up to the 90s on Sunday, October 22nd in Los Angeles, dozens of children and their families gathered in the shade in front of the church on East Olympic Blvd. They munched on hot dogs, chips, and hot Cheetos, and cooled off with three different types of homemade agua fresca made by the sisters of an unassuming yet charming Christian church in East LA. The children laughed and made new friends and played silly games with each other. Their youthful, chubby cheeks were face painted by sweet members of the church who also took turns leading the kids in games with balloons and musical chairs.

When it came time for the children to receive their backpacks, they couldn’t contain their awe and excitement. They were handed large orange mesh pouches generously donated from the David Allen Company that were filled with beautiful leather wallets and pens that went together. They then received a backpack in the color of their choosing, donated by the HeartFelt Foundation. It was joyous to see the children so graciously receive these gifts. Not a single tear was shed over not getting the color backpack they wanted, rather they welcomed the backpack in any color with just as much elation as the biggest Christmas present they could imagine.

With their arms full of the pouches and backpacks, they sat down at tables with each other and examined with beaming faces and twinkling eyes their new gifts. Suddenly, one young boy squealed with delight as he opened a pocket of his backpack to reveal another pouch filled with two notebooks and lots of wonderful school supplies. The other kids looked around and gasped with excitement as they each found their new surprises in the pockets of their backpacks. One little girl, whose backpack was just as big as she, cradled her school supplies and backpack and pouch tightly to her chest like a baby doll and rocked them back and forth, beaming.


This event was put on by the HeartFelt Foundation in partnership with Pastor Benny Herrera of a Christian Church in East LA. It was a joy to come together in service with another loving church community led by Pastor Benny. By the end of the day over 50 children received backpacks filled with school supplies galore. Another 50 children will receive backpacks at Pastor Benny’s charity kitchen called Joshua House in Ensenada, Mexico. Pastor Benny runs a charity kitchen for schoolchildren in Ensenada where schoolchildren can come and get a homemade meal before and after school. For many of those children these are the only meals they eat. The backpacks and school supplies are intended to continue to encourage them to stay in school.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to HeartFelt. Your generous donations go to support families and children and other people in need. We have felt such joy in giving to this community in East LA. Therefore, we intend to co-host a Thanksgiving feast with Pastor Benny and his church family for the East LA families and children in need.

 

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