Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in the Clay/Chalkville/Pinson area (Central District) kicked off Back to School season on August 5, 2017, with its 4th Annual Blessing of the Backpacks.
Julie Morgan heads up the church volunteers who purchase basic school supplies for grades K-12. The volunteers then assemble and pack the supplies to give away to local students. Volunteers prepare 150 to 200 sets of supplies. Over the last four years, this giveaway has evolved from supplies being packed in ziploc bags to being packed in mesh bags to being packed in canvas bags. This year church donations allowed for 192 actual backpacks to be purchased for the students.
The church hosts a community block party where students and their parents register and receive their backpacks full of supplies. Then they are invited to participate in a variety of activities including face painting, storytelling, inflatables, crafts and monogramming their backpacks. They also can take home free books. Since no party is complete without food, there is popcorn, hot dogs, chips, drinks and shaved ice for all! Families are also treated to music and visits with the Chick-Fil-A cow and the Sonic hot dog.
This annual event helps the Taylor Memorial congregation to better connect with its community. Everyone enjoys catching up and seeing how much students have grown and changed over the past year.
Julie has a passion and a calling for this ministry and is excited to see it grow and impact the community. She is already working on plans for next year and is eagerly anticipating what God is going to do!