Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Backpacks for the Coach

This afternoon I attended John Fullmer's memorial service at Canyon View Vineyard Church. Aside from the church staff, John's wife Jennifer, and those from the small group I attended along with them, I really didn't know most of the literally hundreds of people who turned out. It was nonetheless a poignant and uplifting experience to see so many come to pay their respects to a man who impacted numerous lives in the Fruita area as a coach, parent, husband, Christian mentor, and friend.

Donations in John's memory have been suggested to the Kids Aid Backpack Program, a non-profit making a difference in the health of children in need in the Grand Junction area. I've known about the program through attending Canyon View, and knew that they were helping kids be able to eat something nutritious on the weekends by collecting food donations and sending them home in backpacks with the kids after school.

There are several pages on their website that detail the nature and scope of their distribution program, as well as the story of how they came to be. It's worth the time to read, not only because of what inspired Mr. Berry to do it, but also because he tried to emulate a very successful program in Metro Denver, the Totes of Hope program of Food Bank of the Rockies.
Message to those attempting to craft a plan to address our community's homeless problem; re-inventing the wheel is not always necessary.

It was coincidental and equally gratifying to see in today's Sentinel that Mike Berry, the founder of the Kids Aid program, is a finalist for national recognition by the charitable arm of a trade association for financial professionals. Congratulations are in order to Mr. Berry not only for the award, but for adapting a proven method of addressing a need to effective use locally.

There are several ways to help Kids Aid. I was tempted to pull out the checkbook, but I think I will try to donate some of whatever free time I have to help prepare and distribute, or whatever they need. I hope I can be consistent with this.

You can help too. If for no other reason, do it to honor the memory of a man who touched many local lives. Do it for Coach Fullmer.

Good night.

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