Backpack Buddies: Award Winners!

July 16, 2020



Galilee’s Backpack Buddies program has been named “Outstanding Volunteer Team of 2020” by Loudoun Cares. Why? Because of their commitment to feeding children by being the hands and feet of Christ.

On Friday, July 24, Loudoun Cares, a conglomerate of 220 nonprofits, will honor Galilee’s team and more than 100 other volunteers across 14 categories in its first ever *virtual* Outstanding Volunteer Awards celebration.

You can register FREE for the event here. The program will run from 6 to 8pm.


Backpack Buddies award winners.


Rebecca Makowski, Galilee’s Director of Serve Ministries, notes that Backpack Buddies truly is a team effort. 

“We’re a team of teams,” Rebecca says. “Our inventory team makes sure we have food, our restocking team shelves that food, our packing team bags the food, and our delivery team gets the food to the schools or ultimate destination. We have a school liaison team that works with each school to identify the needs they have students and how to best serve them.”

“And we ALSO have a fundraising team that creates campaigns so that the congregation and community can sponsor a child in our program for a year or a semester. They’ve raised over $20,000 in recent years.” 


Congratulations to our hard-working volunteers!


If you’ve been part of any Sunday morning packings, then YOU are part of the team that earned this award. We regularly had 40 people a week involved in the Backpack Buddies process before the pandemic slowed things down. Volunteering is more carefully managed now.

Rebecca says, “When the schools were shut down, the team mobilized to figure out how to keep themselves safe and the program running. We now have families come in one at a time to pack. The support from the community and congregation in assembling the Family Break Bags has been outstanding (and we still need them through the summer).”


Commitment fuels our volunteers, and we pass it on.


“I view this award as an honor for our entire churchā€”for all those who have donated money, helped to pack, bought macaroni and cheese, or prayed for the children and families we serve.”

“I’m so proud of the role that Galilee has played in providing food and support to families in Loudoun through Backpack Buddies for over eight years. The best part is that although the awards are nice, I know that our team will continue to serve these familiesā€”in fact our 500th Family Break Bag  since March will be distributed this week!”



Masked volunteers: Rebecca and Jack

While the award is nice, there’s still work to do. Last school year Backpack Buddies served 400 children. For the 2020-2021 school year, we’ll likely be serving 415 children at seven different schools.

  • We’re working on the best way for the Galilee Church community to be involved with Backpack Buddies in a manner that is safe for volunteers. What can you do now? Family Break Bags can be assembled, or donations given through our Target link and direct financial donations to Galilee. As soon as we have a plan in place for additional physical volunteers, we’ll see where you can fit into the process.