Local church targets 500 students for school supplies

Local church targets 500 students for school supplies
August 04
05:30 2016



For many parents, purchasing school supplies is easier said than done.

“About 60 percent of our students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch,” said Theo Helm, chief of staff for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, which has about 54,000 students. “So as you can imagine, if you struggle to find money to pay for a meal, you’re certainly going to struggle to find money to pay for school supplies.”

Officials at Phillips Chapel Missionary Baptist Church want to help parents who lack adequate money for school supplies, so they’re sponsoring an evangelistic outreach event on Saturday, Aug. 6, in hopes of donating book bags filled with supplies to 500 children.

The free event will be from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church, 132 North Glenn Ave. in the Kimberley Park neighborhood. The public is invited.

“The purpose of this event is to get out-side the church and to meet and greet people in the community,” said Marcellette Orange, lead coordinator/liaison for evangelistic outreach. “We want to spread the word of God, and we also want to meet the needs of the community spiritually, physically and mentally.”

This will be the fifth consecutive year Phillips Chapel has held the evangelistic outreach event and the third time book bags will be distributed at it. In 2014, the church gave book bags to 243 children, followed by 350 last year.

“After much prayer and based on the need in the community, I told the pastor I thought this year we needed to try to reach 500 children,” Orange said. “He agreed …and I have faith that we’ll receive enough donated school supplies to reach our goal.”

Orange, however, acknowledges that organizers need many more school supplies and encourages anyone who wants to assist Phillips Chapel to drop off items at the church from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. People who want to contribute but don’t want to shop for supplies can make financial contributions – via mail or in person – and let church members shop for them.

The daylong event features much more than book bags and school supplies. For example, there will be face-painting and a bounce house for kids, and hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad and other food will be served. Representatives from several community agencies will be on hand to disseminate information, including the city’s police and fire departments, Legal Aid, Self-Help Credit Union, The Prosperity Center and others, Orange said.

There will be free dental screenings for kids and blood pressure and BMI checks for adults. Mia Parker, parent involvement coordinator at Kimberley Park Elementary School, will address parents about the importance of being engaged in their children’s schools, and Phillips Chapel Minister Shannon Shore will conduct a youth workshop.

Phillips Chapel Pastor Chad R. Armstrong said the Aug. 6 event is important, not only because of school supplies that will be donated to help local families stretch their budgets, but also because it gives the church a chance to serve others while spreading the word of Christ.

“It is our greatest intention to implement the mandates of Christ that we might point individuals to Him,” Armstrong said. “Through the passage of Matthew 25:34-40, we recognize that ministry does not exist only in the four consecrated walls but extends itself beyond to the masses that experience various levels of challenges in life. Therefore, I contend that as we make ourselves available to God, He prepares and positions us to be a blessing that produces hope in a dismal and chaotic world.”

Orange said a lot of hard work has gone into planning the event, and she credits Chapel ministers Britnee Tellez, Francine Hines and Patrick Livingston, as well as Rev. Sherman Marshall, director of evangelism ministry, for helping her organize it.

Suffice it to say, the church’s benevolence isn’t going unnoticed.

“Community efforts, like what’s being done at Phillips Chapel on Aug. 6 to help provide school supplies, really help us fill in the gaps,” said Helm of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. “We appreciate it so much.”

For more information or to donate school supplies, call Phillips Chapel at 336-723-9451.

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