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Ready to learn: Churches distribute back-to-school supplies

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | September 7, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — For kids, part of going back to school is new notebooks and pencils, markers, erasers and other school supplies, even in the computer age.

Some Moses Lake churches worked with their neighborhood schools to ensure all kids got new supplies for school.

Grace Harvest Church distributed backpacks filled with school supplies to Longview Elementary School students Aug. 28. Restore City Church members handed out backpacks and school supplies for kids at Peninsula and Sage Point elementary schools Aug. 25.

The Light of Larson Church partnered with other churches and businesses to distribute backpacks to kids at Larson Heights and North elementary schools and Endeavor Middle School. Moses Lake Presbyterian Church had backpacks for kids at Midway Elementary School.

Church members said the project was a chance to serve, and connect with, the schools and kids around them.

The individual churches took up a project pioneered by Serve Moses Lake. The organization sponsored Back 2 School, which provided school supplies to kids from all around town at a one-day event. But over time, individual churches took over, focusing on schools nearby.

Peggy Sherman, one of the organizers of the backpack project at Grace Harvest Church, said church members have been doing the backpack project since 2019.

“In 2019, we were able to do a fun family event,” Sherman wrote in an email.

But the COVID-19 pandemic shut that down in 2020 and 2021, Sherman wrote.

Brandi Bewick, the church secretary and an organizer of the backpack project, said it’s part of the church’s larger mission at Longview.

“Our goal is to build community there,” Bewick said. “Any way that we’re able to, we want to step in and help their community.”

That has included volunteering in classrooms and donating coats and gloves for Longview students, Sherman wrote.

Church members filled 380 backpacks, which is enough for every Longview student, Sherman wrote. About half of them were distributed Aug. 28, and the rest were to be donated to Longview for distribution when school started.

Light of Larson Church pastor Art Brown said the church congregation also is looking to support the kids in the neighborhood. God gave them a job in the Larson community, he said.

“His direction is to love our children. Love the children out here,” Brown said. “That’s our heart, to be with the children.”

Along with backpacks, the Light of Larson Church congregation distributed hygiene supplies and other items, Brown said, part of it donated by the Moses Lake Lowe’s. About 150 backpacks were handed out at the church’s drive-thru distribution Aug. 26. Like Grace Harvest, the remaining backpacks from Light of Larson were to be donated to the schools for distribution, he said.

This is the first year the Restore City Church congregation has distributed backpacks. Youth pastor Freddie Prado said the congregation knew there was a need, and wanted to provide a solution. He didn’t know how many backpacks were distributed, he said.

The Restore City congregation regarded the backpack project as a way to fulfill its mission. Church members wanted to show their love of Christ outside the church’s four walls, Prado said.

“We decided we were just going to do it,” Prado said.

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Courtesy photo

A volunteer from the Grace Harvest Church distributes back-to-school backpacks to Longview Elementary School students Aug. 28.

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Courtesy photo

Volunteers from the Light of Larson Church hand out school supplies and backpacks to Larson Heights Elementary School students Aug. 26.

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