Local churches holding school supply drives

For many families, the "back to school" journey is a financially trying time--especially for families with more than one child. This year, various churches are doing their part by holding school supply drives to get the school year started on a positive note for families in need.Shorie Henderson, a member of Emmanuel Fellowship, has organized a school supply drive to benefit anyone in need from kindergarten through high school age students."It's hard enough these days in the public school system for the kids to fit in and concentrate on school," Henderson said, "when financial problems from home carry over."Henderson said that she posted her idea on the Facebook page "Sweetwater Info and Trade" and the response was tremendous for those in need. But among those who heard the plea to volunteer was Mikya Wiltse, a member of Lamar Street Baptist Church. Both churches will serve as drop-off spots (Emmanuel Fellowship is located at 1418 Hailey; Lamar Street Baptist Church is located at 513 Lamar), and Wiltse and Henderson are also willing to pick up donated supplies if necessary. "We know that there are many people in need, but we can't help all that need the help without donations," commented Wiltse.Also joining the cause was Shelby Johnson with SLJ Embroidery who has donated 15 backpacks to put the school supplies in. Her business, located at 109 W. 3rd, will also be a drop-off spot to donate the school supplies.Any and all kinds of school supplies will be accepted, said Henderson, and their goal is to be able to help at least 50 needy students. Donations will be accepted until Friday, August 24.And with school starting on Monday, August 27, deliveries to those in need will be made on Saturday, August 25. For those who need assistance from the school supply drive or if donations need to be picked up, contact Henderson through Facebook or by phone at 325-864-7890, or call Wiltse at 325-518-6435.Recently, another church held a school supply drive--Highland Heights United Methodist Church--in which they were able to collect 15 sets of school supplies for children in need at East Ridge.The drive ended on Sunday, August 12 but on Sunday, August 19 the collected supplies will be consecrated. During the consecration, the school supplies will be prayed over and the church will pray for the recipients of the supplies as well as the school teachers, administration and everyone involved in the back-to-school process before being delivered to the elementary school.