Our organization had the idea that we could gather enough supplies to impact 500 people and by doing so, we could make a difference in the lives of some of their children as well. We spent months fundraising, pleading and searching for money as we bought 500 backpacks from the Fashion District in Los Angeles, CA. All the supplies were organized, and our staff plus 30 volunteers met for a full day as we started an assemble line to fill these for the homeless and their families.

Working with children means we also must work with their parents, and we do so with a goal of impacting their lives for a better world. We firmly believe that secure kids make for better adults, which makes our communities a better place for all of us.

As we pursued these goals, we were drawn into homeless encampments where entire families were living. Parents shielded their children from us, thinking we would report abusive behavior and truancy, but our intentions were soon made clear when we provided our hard-won backpacks with essentials for everyday living. Shoes, jackets, socks and basic hygiene products were stuffed into each backpack.  When we could we added canned food and even toys for the kids.

Besides offering a glimmer of hope, we were surprised that the most desirable need for almost every person was the need to be heard.

Their stories would surprise you and it made us ponder that many people in everyday life are not that far from being without a home. If you were forced from your home today, would you take your children with you or would you leave them behind? Of course, you would want to keep your family united—despite any troubles you may face. This is why there are so many children missing school. It is the reason why we see children begging at a stoplight. Parents do not want to abandon their children. Do you want to be a part of the change to make our communities a better place? Do you agree that secure children make for a better adult?