On Thursday, BP4K traveled to two refugee centers on the outskirts of Cologne and handed out backpacks to children. Along comes Markus…
Marcus came to Germany with his mother/grandmother when his father told them to leave Berezivka…it was no longer safe. This little boy has never, in his life, owned a lego set. I didn’t see him open his backpack from BP4K, but I did hear a little boy yelling, ”LEGOS, LEGOS, LEGOS!! over on a sidewalk, so I went investigate. An Interpreter helped me understand what he was saying. He couldn’t believe on this particular day, that legos would come to him from America. I swiftly got up, walked 30 yards away behind the building and began sobbing uncontrollably.
It hurts to realize that these children are fleeing a very dark situation…but Marcus was smiling. How could that be? I usually keep it together, but this one hurt, and it hurt deep. After gaining my composure, I went back to the van and Markus was still there. He came up to me and hugged my leg. We finished up our trip by handing out a bunch of candy that you have provided and waved goodbye to Markus and the others.
The work being done here in Europe by hundreds of thousands of volunteers and thousands of NGO’s is difficult to explain. The official governments have very little control or influence on what small NGO’s can and can’t do. So in a way, its been a steep learning curve. But like most things in life, the cream rises to the top. The NGOs who are extremely focused and stay true to their abilities, are the ones that succeed. And more often than not they succeed because they partner with other NGOs that fill in the pieces of the puzzle. That is exactly what Operation BackPack4Kids has done. We have tapped the most talented and educated people in our ranks to oversee certain aspects if what we do, and we are succeeding in an amazing way.
Send us LEGOS, candy, coloring books, socks and underwear*… give us backpacks and money! I will personally promise you that it will NOT end up in some pile of stuff at a RedCross warehouse, but it will go into the hands of these children who appreciate it more than you can know. Operation BackPack4Kids has truly changed my life for the better, and it can change yours too if you let it.
With gratitude and appreciation to all who have made this possible,
William “Stevie Ray” Vaughan
Founder and Executive Director
* Please review our How to Make a Backpack page before sending any provisions.