GUMC holds annual Back to School Buzz
By MALACHI MUNCY
On Sunday afternoon, Grace United Methodist Church hosted the seventh annual “Back-to-School Buzz’ event and gave away more than 430 free bags of school supplies to Copperas Cove students. The bags contained: binders, folders, pencils, pens, crayons, color pencils, notebooks, scissors, erasers and glue.
“All the supplies were donated by our church members,” Said Erin Johnson, children’s ministry director. “The bags are divided by grade level because highschoolers don’t need crayons but they need more lined paper,”
The church also partnered with Vista College Cosmetology staff and students to provide more than 110 free haircuts.
“This is the third year we’ve given haircuts at this event,” said Evelyn Nichols, Phase-3 Cosmetology Instructor. “It’s about community. Stylists are very community driven people.”
This is the first year that the church also partnered with the Lions Club to provide free eye screenings using a ‘SPOT’ machine that takes pictures of the eye to identify problems.
The Lions Club also offers to pay for a free optometrist visit and pair of glasses when a prescription is necessary for students who qualify based on income.
“It’s really grown over the years,” said Crystal Crowder, missions and evangelism chairperson. “The first year we gave out 100 bags, now hundreds and all these services, and it’s still growing. It’s humbling to see how much need there is in the community.”
Outside the church, hot dogs and refreshments were served while kids picked through piles of free books and competed in hula hoop contests for backpacks and lunch boxes.
The church also gave away some backpacks as door prizes.
“Every year I’m blown away by our members and volunteers at this event,” said Kissa Vaughn, Grace UMC pastor. “It’s awesome to watch the love of God expressed in school supplies and haircuts, to see the sort of work that the body of Christ ought to be doing.”
Later this year Grace United Methodist will be holding the annual grace giving dinner the day before Thanksgiving again this year. “Last year we provided 180 meals,” said Crowder.
For other community service events hosted by the church visit: www.gracecove.church.