Learn about First Church Security and Community Care,  July 14 – 19.

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Social Justice, Religious Education

Backpack Blessing & Coalition Drive 

This year we are engaging in a new way to help support the children in our community of Milwaukee and at First Church. Starting in July, we will be joining United Way’s Backpack Coalition whose goal is to provide over 9,000 filled backpacks for the start of the 2024-25 school year. Backpack Coalition is committed to providing backpacks and school supplies to students with financial constraints, so they have the tools they need to succeed in school.  

There a several reasons to support these efforts in Milwaukee:  The average cost of school supplies hovers around $75 and not every family can afford this cost. Supporting this effort will reduce the amount of money teachers spend from their own pockets to provide school supplies for their students. This effort can help families redirect their limited budgets to other important needs: rent, food, bills, school clothes, and more.  

There are three ways you can contribute to the Backpack Coalition. 

Purchase supplies and drop them off in the bins in the hall and Leenhouts Common Room at church. High priority items include: 

  • Crayons, 24 count  
  • Folders, paper or plastic  
  • Markers, 10-12 count, thin or broad tip  
  • Composition notebooks, college or wide ruled 
  • Spiral notebooks, college or wide ruled  

Visit the Amazon Wish List and purchase items to be shipped directly to United Way. Double Your Donation Promotion: For every backpack you donate, Fenrici Brands will ship an additional backpack on your behalf. United Way will also receive 5% back from your purchase. Click here for the Wish List.

Donate to the Backpack Coalition. $30 provides one child with a backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies. Click here.


On Sunday, August 11th, we invite children to bring their backpacks to service for a blessing from the congregation. This blessing ritual will honor their return to learning at school and each child will receive a talisman for their backpacks. Backpack blessings are a way for our faith community to recognize the importance of children’s lives and let them know that their faith community’s love is with them at school and wherever they journey.   

Help us prepare for our Backpack Blessing by letting us know your child/children will be attending. RSVP here for our Backpack Blessing on August 11:    

I know together we can create backpack blessings for our community and our children.  

In faith,  
Rev. Kimberlee
Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson, Minister of Religious Education


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