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Carbondale church holds back-to-school tradition

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Carbondale church backpack giveaway

CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Kids are now one step closer to being ready for the school year after going home with a backpack filled with school supplies.

Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church held a drive-thru backpack giveaway Saturday afternoon. Church members, neighbors, students and local law enforcement all volunteered for the event.

The backpack giveaway has been a tradition for Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church for more than 20 years. But this is the first year its been held as a drive-thru as a way to maintain social distance due to the Coronavirus.

Sharonda Cawthon, Director of Ministries, says the supplies will be needed whether children are back in the classroom or taking part in remote learning.

"There are some children who are going to school blended," she says. Others are going fully virtual and they will have computer access, but they may also need paper, crayons, or scissors. "

The event is also a way to offer a helping hand to families, who may be experiencing financial difficulty as this time.

"It's still just the generosity and we want to see other people blessed," Cawthon adds. "Getting what they can for free without having costs to them."

This is the third year in a row that the church has had a thousand backpacks available to giveaway.

At the time of this posting, church members do not have a final count on how many kids took home a backpack at today's event.

Brooke Schlyer

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