FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – As the new school year approaches, community organizers and businesses across the Miami Valley are reaching out to aid families in the community.
The First Baptist Church in Fairborn announced that they have begun registration for Fairborn families in need of school supplies for the upcoming school year. The first 200 families that register will receive a new book bag full of school supplies that the students need for classes.
The bookbags are designed for students attending grades K-12 at Fairborn city schools. The bags will be organized by grade and will include the supplies needed for each individual year.
The bookbag handouts will take place on August 10th and 10 a.m. Any family who wants to register must do so by August 4th.
The First Baptist Church began the service 17 years ago when they realized that there was a need in the community.
In Fairborn, Ginny Howell, First Baptist Church’s Backpack Ministry Coordinator, said that because of recent drug and crime issues, they’ve seen the needs of area children increase.
School supplies are a yearly struggle for many area families. As a students’ age increases, often the cost of the supplies they may need increases as well. These concerns are even larger if a family has multiple children enrolled.
Howell has been a part of the program for all 17 years of its existence and said that the program has eased the anxiety of a lot of children heading back to school.
“Starting school is always an anxious time,” said Howell, “but when you have the same supplies everybody else has, it makes things a little easier.”
The supplies are donated to the church and workers like Howell collect and organize them throughout the summer.
“Our members bring them,” said Howell. “They donate some, and they also donate money. I spend about $1300 a year. This year it will probably be more because every year supplies go up and I’m doing 200 backpacks this year.”
Howell said that children who register are required to be in attendance to pickup a backpack on August 10th. The program wants to ensure that children feel a sense of ownership over the backpack they select, as well as making sure they are happy with the design and color of the bag they are receiving.
Howell said that the program is still accepting donations from community members and will do more than 200 backpacks if they are necessary.
“We’re not going to turn anyone away,” said Howell.
Those interested in registering should visit the church office or call their phone number at 937-878-8629.
Business and donation hours can be found at the church’s website.