By Ansley Brackin
Communications Specialist at the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church
The first day of school is just around the corner. However, many United Methodist Churches have kept it in mind all summer long. All over Georgia churches have been collecting back packs for those in need, and the number of bags collected is astounding!
Clarkston UMC is close to their pledge of 30 backpacks for the students of Clarkston. The church pairs up with the Clarkston Police Department for the cause. On August 6, they will give out their collected bags and supplies during their National Night Out event. Eastside UMC in Decatur set a goal of 25 backpacks for kids in the nearby Villages of East Lake community. They doubled that collecting 50 backpacks!
Other churches collected monetary donations. Elmore Tate UMC in Tate, Georgia collected $1305 for the back pack program. Cannon UMC of Snellville collected $1320 along with 210 book bags. Some members even went as far as filling the bags with school supplies. On July 14 Canon’s congregation celebrated with a Blessing of the Back Packs during their Sunday services.
In Young Harris, Sharp Memorial UMC looks forward to collecting bags every year. So far they have delivered three filled boxes to Towns Co. Comprehensive School and have more on the way.
Other churches taking part are McEachern UMC with 150 bags, Springhill UMC with 30 bags for the kids of their church and community, and Turner UMC of McDonough. Turner is reaching out to Kenya by donating supplies for the Home of the Good Shepard Orphanage and School. Suwanee UMC is continuing to collect supplies for kids through North Gwinnett Co-Op.
Sugar Hill UMC has collected an impressive 1020 bags. 520 of those bags went to local schools as well as the United Methodist Children’s Home. They also sent over 500 to UMCOR.
Please share how your church has taken part in preparing kids all over for school by commenting below.
**Update: August 1, 2013
· Roger Alan Vest said Powder Springs First UMC is collecting socks and underwear for back to school. They’re celebrating Undie Sunday! · Leslie Lyons Watkins posted that Peachtree Road UMC donate backpacks and supplies
· Beth Sanders said 110 children received school supplies at Second Avenue's Back to School Bash last Friday as part of the conclusion of the summer of Action Ministries' Rome Smart Lunch Smart Kid.
· Nathaniel Long’s church, Chatsworth First UMC, collected socks & undies and will be collecting school supplies in a couple of weeks. They also feed the students through the Saturday Sacks program and have been feeding them all summer 5 days a week.
· Beth La Rocca-Pitts shared that Saint Mark Atlanta participates in "backpack in the park" which collects and assembles packs with supplies for kids.
· Jenny Anderson announced that Cumberland collected school supplies and backpacks
· Natha Harris said Hoosier Memorial donated school supplies and backpack.
· Catherine Boothe of Northside UMC said they donate school supplies for BCM and other mission agencies.
· Taressa Thompson posted that Keeney Memorial is nearing their goal of 100 backpacks filled with school supplies (they currently have 84) and will have food and other activities this Sunday! Bless His Name!
· Jim Perry posted that East Cobb United Methodist Church assembled 123 book bags and additional bulk school supplies. Thanks Pastor Cindy Campbell, Judy Kelley, and all the wonderful people who gave!
· David Wofford said Young Harris Memorial UMC is raising a fund for school supplies for Chase Elementary in Athens!
· Frank Bernat shared that Hope partnered with 11 other churches in Paulding County and provided over 700 backpacks for students headed back to school tomorrow
· Brenda Pullin Dixon said that Mount Gilead UMC in Sharpsburg (LaGrange District) collected supplies that will be delivered to Poplar Road Elementary School tomorrow by Pastor Dan Dixon.
· Debby Fox posted that Gainesville First collects school supplies for children in a local elementary school who also are part of an ongoing after school ministry. They will celebrate back to school with them at a picnic next week on the field in their neighborhood.
· Roger Alan Vest said Powder Springs First UMC is collecting socks and underwear for back to school. They’re celebrating Undie Sunday!
· Leslie Lyons Watkins posted that Peachtree Road UMC donate backpacks and supplies