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DRBA conducts school supply ministry
SoVaNow.com / July 23, 2014As the annual Virginia tax-holiday for school supplies nears in the first full weekend in August, thoughts of what may be needed in the new school year pop up in parents’ minds. Most parents look forward to saving pennies on the dollar for their children while they bargain hunt for paper, composition books, binders, and glue sticks. Children have a bit of fun filling the shopping cart with unsharpened pencils, fresh crayons, and a pencil box to call their own. However, for some in the community who are facing economic hardships, school supplies are a nightmare.
The Dan River Baptist Association started a school supplies ministry in 2008 that has had a lasting impact in Halifax County Public Schools. “It started as a one-day block party,” said association coordinator Dot Carr.
That one event blossomed into a year-round ministry that sees generosity from churches of all denominations, civic and social organizations, and local businesses.
“This is an awesome ministry that is provided to every school in Halifax County and is funded 99 percent through donations,” Carr said.
The Dan River Baptist Church provides the storage space for pencils, pens, pencil boxes, index cards, dividers, binders, rulers, glue bottles, glue sticks, dry erase markers, dry erase boards, paper, composition books, backpacks, and as Carr said,
“It is a little of everything.”
Donated backpacks, such as the ones from Prestone, pencils donated from Dollar General, and funds donated from others that allows the ministry to purchase school supplies at wholesale prices keeps the stock ready for those in need. Vicky Collie volunteers as coordinator to keep the room organized and ready to serve. “Dan River Baptist Church is gracious enough to allow us ministry space and designated school supplies ministry space,” Carr said.
The school supplies ministry is contacted through the school system and Social Services about children who are in need of the supplies. The child’s privacy is protected as the school system sends a volunteer, teacher or principal to pick up the supplies needed. This can happen at the beginning of the year or throughout the year.
“It is a neat ministry to have because if there are issues going on – maybe the court is involved, or they’ve been removed from the home, or have had to leave in the middle of the night or because of a fire – we work directly with the schools and Social Services to help see these kids have what they need,” Carr said.
She added that the best part of the ministry is giving children a sense of security in knowing that they have what they need. “It gives them the ability to feel comfortable to have what they need to learn and the biggest thing is that somebody cares,” she said.
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