For years I have had the idea to buy backpacks and fill them with items for personal care, warmth, non-perishable foods, water and more to keep in my vehicle and distribute to needy people when I run into that situation.

Recently after much prayer and planning I decided to take my plan and make it much bigger. Instead of donating money monthly to charities that I never see where it goes, I wanted to make a difference right here in my community.

I started buying more and more backpacks and filling them with items to give to our local DFCS office for foster children coming into the system. The first month I gave 13 Life Packs to this cause. This is a cause close to my heart as many children leave their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and as they travel between homes, they carry the things they acquire in trash bags.

I wanted them to have items that belonged to them for comfort and necessity and to be proud of the backpack they had to keep those items safe for them.

In no time at all, friends and family heard about what I was doing and wanted to help too and together we were able to fill almost triple the Life Packs. In our second month we gave eight Life Packs to DFCS, 12 to the homeless shelter, and 12 to the Drug Court participants in our community. It is still so humbling to me to see so many wonderful people step up and want to make a difference in the lives of the people in their community.
There is a great need in North Georgia that most people are not even aware of. We all know Atlanta and other big cities have many homeless, but I think many would be surprised to know that most counties in North Georgia no matter how small or rural have a homeless problem. North Georgia has many people who are in recovery and struggling to overcome addictions of various types and there are limited resources available to them, so we wanted to step up and give out support to them as well with our Life Packs.

We want to remind people that there are people who still care about others and want to help. We don’t judge or decide who deserves to be helped. If they are in need and we can reach them we want to help. We all fall on hard times through life and just need to be reminded that we matter and given some hope to get back on our feet and onward to a better place. I know we have all heard “Treat people as you would like to be treated,” and this is a phrase I try to live my life by.

We were recently approached by a nonprofit organization to join with them to expand our Life Packs even further. We want to bring Life Packs to all North Georgia this year and keep expanding as far as it can go to help as many people as possible. We know this new team we are building is going to help many people who we hope in turn will give back and pay it forward. Can you imagine the change we could see in the world if that pattern was set and continued?

Since we are with a nonprofit, we are allowed to take various types of donations now including but not limited to non-perishable foods and drinks, wipes, toys, blankets/throws, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, combs, brushes, flashlights, hats, scarves, gloves, cash donations, gift cards, and more.

If you would like to know more or donate to Life Packs, you can e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call at 706-669-4148, attention Lora Bunch. We will be able to provide you with the paperwork for your taxes for your donations.