Power Packs

For over twenty years volunteers have been making Power Packs for The King’s Jubilee. They were invented by Teresa Gilmore at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, East Greenville, PA, in their CCD school. A power pack is a paper lunch bag filled with non-perishable goodies. I need to stress this point. We need to be able to store these in case we have too many on a given night. Sometimes these are colored or decorated with stickers on the outside. We give them out at the end of our food line in the park in center city Phila. This way the people have something for the next day. Teresa set it up so that each grade brought in one of the items that went into the bags and a couple of the grades colored the bags, and a couple of the grades assembled the bags. For over twenty years, I have never been quite sure what all goes into Power Packs. I’m just in charge of the ministry. You can’t expect me to know everything that goes on. I generally have to look up Teresa’s phone number and have the new group that is going to do it call her to get the info. each time.  That changes today.

The list of items may vary. I have seen some Power Packs stuffed to  the point of bursting and I have seen much lighter ones. All were appreciated. We serve between 150 to 250 people on any given Thursday night in the summer. Numbers are a little lower the rest of the year. Your group does not have to make that many. We will save them up until we have enough, then give them away.

  • juice box or can or pack (Capri-Sun)
  • crackers & cheese or crackers & peanut butter package
  • small boxes raisins, etc.
  • small box cereal
  • cereal or granola type bars
  • snack pack of nuts, chips, trail mix, cookies, candy, yogurt nuts or raisins, sesame things, sunflower seeds
  • pudding pack, canned fruit
  • travel size hand sanitizer

You don’t have to include all of those items. You may think of some others that are appropriate. As long as they fit in the bag and are non-perishable, it’s OK.

Through the years, Vacation Church Schools, CCDs, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops have made these. A workplace once made these as a service project. The last time we gave them out, Fr. Victor from St. Stephen Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Phila., came out to help distribute them from their VCS two weeks ago. They were the fattest, heaviest 150 Power Packs I have ever seen! God bless you!



P.S.  In case you were wondering what those things are in the image at the top of this post are, they are power packs for photo-voltaic collectors. It was the best image I could find for “power packs” on a Google image search, since I had never photographed any of ours. My wife says I have a very confusing sense of humor, or something to that effect, I bet it caught your attention, though. Eh?

St. Justin Academy Homeschool Group

St. Justin Martyr
St. Justin Martyr by the hand of Nick Papas

The home-schoolers’ group at St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church Souderton just started meeting this autumn. Bishop Thomas gave them the name of St. Justin Academy. For their first ever service project, they chose to make power packs for The King’s Jubilee. One of the moms called me to ask what went into power packs and I referred her to Michael Heveran or Teresa Gillmore at St. Philip Neri R. C. Church in Pennsburg. Michael has made a lot of power packs. Teresa invented them and proposed the idea to us over twenty years ago. I must confess that I have never made one. Plus my brain has been a little Swiss cheesy lately, so I deferred to the experts.

The small group of home-schoolers colored about fifty paper bags with colorful crosses and other decorations and filled them with food and juice suitable to be a snack or lunch for tomorrow. I had the joy of giving them away on the street tonight. The men were very thankful!

It is good to have our children and grandchildren develop a habit of hands on giving of alms in tangible ways. May God grant them many blessed years of fruitful learning and giving!