As Hurricane Florence made landfall September 14, 2018, both North and South Carolina were affected by the devastating winds and record-breaking flooding. Over 2,500 people were sheltered in North Carolina alone and an estimated 759,000 homes and businesses were damaged.

During this disastrous event, many school-aged children sought shelter in the school they attended after being forced to evacuate their homes. When children live through disasters like that of Hurricane Florence, their mental, emotional, and physical health can be disturbed, as can their education. Injury, irregular eating habits due to inadequate food supplies, and death are possible during these traumatic events. The stress of losing loved ones, homes, and possessions and being forced to relocate additionally weigh on these children.

All of these factors contribute to a child’s sense of security and stability, but fortunately, meeting a simple need with a few resources help children regain their sense of ownership and free-form expression.

Feed the Children, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “provide hope and resources for those without life’s essentials,” creates and shares Disaster Backpacks designed specifically for children who have been impacted by a disaster like Hurricane Florence.

Feed the Children is currently working with 19 community partners to identify needs and gaps in services for these children and their families. 37 shipments of relief supplies totaling 792,000 pounds of food, water, personal care items, cleaning supplies, and other essentials have been allocated.

In September, Crossings Community Church through the Missions ministry had the opportunity to partner with Feed the Children to be a voice of hope and to demonstrate God’s love to these affected families. Second through fourth graders at the Crossings OKC campus created 350 Disaster Backpacks to send to children who have been displaced from their homes and their belongings due to the hurricane. Each backpack is full of personal hygiene items, a plush toy, and a copy of The Comfort Quilt, a coloring book that helps children recover emotionally and spiritually from the losses they’ve experienced.

Take a look at how God is using Crossings to love our neighbors near and far:

Learn more about Crossings Disaster Response Team here or Crossings Missions ministry right here.