Local church gives away school supplies
By BRITTANY FHOLER
More than 100 people showed up on Saturday morning as Victory Baptist Church held its annual School Supply Giveaway.
Church volunteers said that dozens of people lined up starting at 6 a.m. for the giveaway which was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.
Volunteer Norma Zapata said she’s been helping out for four years and said this year saw the largest turnout.
“We’ve never had that,” Zapata said. “There’s a need out there obviously.”
For those who showed up, there was no requirement to show proof of need, Zapata said. They simply just had to show up and they were given a bag for clothes and a bag for school supplies. There were no limits on how much each person could take either.
Zapata said the church also handed out “church tracts” and invited people to come to church services.
The clothes are donated by church members year round and are then washed and bagged up and then laid out on tables for the event. There were more than 17 tables covered in clothes, as well as several chairs along the wall. Sizes ranged from baby to plus size women’s clothing.
“It’s a real blessing we’re able to do it every year,” Zapata said.
The church ran out of school supplies three times before 10 a.m., and a fourth time after 10 a.m., but through the generosity of church volunteers who ran to the store to purchase more, they were able to continue providing whatever they could as people came in. Zapata estimated that all together, church members donated more than $500 worth of school supplies.
“This is a giving, giving church,” Zapata said. “It’s unbelievable how much some of these members do for us.”
Zapata said the church wants to just show people that they are loved.
Ashley Person, another volunteer, was folding clothes during the event Friday morning. She said she came up at 7 a.m. to drop off clothes and saw the line of people waiting.
“It was amazing though,” Person said. “We opened the doors, and it was just like so many people coming in.”
She added that she watched as the tables of clothes went from piles stacked so high to just enough clothes to cover the surface of the table.
“It’s such a blessing though to have so many people in the community come and get the help that they need and the amount of people that have supported and brought clothes is even more of a blessing than anything,” Person said. “It makes me want to cry because I know there are a lot of people here that can’t afford to do this and they can’t afford just the littlest things and so knowing we can help that one family who’s been struggling, is the greatest thing I can think of, and to be able to share the Gospel with them too.”
Person said she’s been a member of the church for more than three years and helps out year-round, but the School Supply Giveaway is one of her favorite things to help with.
Anastasia Morgan found out about the event on Facebook. Her son, Michael, just turned 4 and will be going into Pre-K, and Morgan is also expecting a baby girl this month.
“I think it’s amazing,” Morgan said. “I really waited last minute to do anything school supplies and I even got a couple. I’m very thankful for it. I think it’s a wonderful event for the whole town.”
Morgan said she even found some really cute baby clothes that church volunteers insisted she take with her.
“I’m just grateful for churches like this and people like this because they have wonderful hearts for giving and stuff like that,” Morgan said. “I think it’s a true blessing and I know other people are thankful for it as well.”
For more information on Victory Baptist Church, visit their website www.vbctherock.com.