An interdenominational effort to bring school supplies to children in need reached hundreds of children this year.
Zandra Hart addressed a crowd of about 300 people in the sanctuary of the Lifeway Baptist Church.
“Every child God has made, and he has given them a purpose and a destiny,” Hart told the crowd.
Seven churches across the valley came together and donated 240 backpacks full of school supplies to children in first through fifth grades. Last year, the event gave away 166 backpacks.
“I was overwhelmed and blown away by the people that came on board to do things,” said Hart, the pastor of Community of Believers. Volunteers from the Piñon Project also helped with the event.
Long lines of excited children and their families formed winding their way through the building to various stations manned by volunteers from various churches. This year, volunteers gave 67 free hair cuts, and Samaritan’s Feet gave away about 240 shoes. They also had Ute and Spanish translators on hand to speak with family members.
Volunteer Dawn Terranova noted that the event, now in its second year, was bigger and more organized than last year. But the winding lines and the crowd were still a bit chaotic.
“The kids are all really overwhelmed,” she said.
Gloria Coral Perez, 13, came with her little brother, Josue, 10, for the second year in a row. While waiting in line, she said she planned to have him get his hair trimmed again this year.
“I liked how they did it,” she said.
Hart will be organizing the event next year. Samaritan’s Feet also plans to return and will offer the opportunity to preregister to receive shoes.