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Stull UMC helps kids in need go back to school
By Susan Cooper, Communications associate director
Free backpacks filled with school supplies also were given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We gave away 164 new items and 254 used items and 60 filled backpacks,” said church member Tracy Kern. “This all happened in a 90-minute time frame!”
To prepare for the event, the Stull congregation was asked to donate new clothing items or give monetary donations.
The church’s Faith and Friendship Center has a food pantry and a clothes closet that is open every first and third Thursday of the month. Used clothing from the clothes closet was added to the donated, new clothing for the back-to-school event.
The church also hosts community dinners on Tuesday. One evening in July, the donations from the dinner were designated to fund the back-to-school event. Other dinner donations that exceeded the cost of the meals have been given to the event as well.
“We started with $1,570 for clothes, clothing racks, hangers, school supplies and backpacks from the food-pantry budget. We purchased the backpacks, school supplies and other items and then had about $830 left to purchase additional new clothing to what the congregation donated,” Kern said.
To publicize the event, Kern sent out fliers to area churches and schools.
“We all had a wonderful feeling helping all of those families. We received some really good feedback from people, too. Everything from how appreciative they were to how organized it was,” Kern said.
“We are already looking forward to planning our next back-to-school event. We’re also going to schedule some different events over the next several months to get more new clothing for us to use next year.”