Back to School Jam brings bookbags and blessings
“Isn’t this amazing?” John Dorsey, organizer and founder of God’s Outreach Ministry, proclaimed as he stood on stage at Kelsey Scott Park on Saturday afternoon during the Back to School Jam Fest.
Dorsey organized the community outreach event, which aims to unify communities. The Charlotte resident is a self-proclaimed born-again Christian originally from Los Angeles, Calif., and says this ministry has been a special calling to him.
“I used to be poor, homeless, and into drugs and alcohol,” he said.
Dorsey has used his life as an example to help others through the founding of God’s Outreach Ministry, a nonprofit based in Charlotte that organizes similar and larger events in cities across the United States like Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans and, more recently, Charlotte. Dorsey’s main goal for the organization, he says, is to “win souls for Christ.”
Dorsey with the help of other organizers and several local churches sponsored the event.
“We’re just here to bless the community,” Dorsey said.
The event attracted upwards of 500 people on a hot August afternoon. There were raffles for prizes, free items handed out such as bookbags, school supplies and even groceries for those in need. Free haircuts were given, along with food and drinks.
Pastor Julius Koone, of Christ Transformation Center in Salisbury, says the event is a vital way to bring divided communities together again, and the unification of churches is a way he believes is the most positive way to impact the surrounding communities.
“We must come together to impact a city, and strengthen through unity,” Koone said.
Koone says he believes that, all too often, communities don’t rely enough on the strength of churches and community support.
“This event really is a blessing to the community,” Koone said.
Jewel Mack, a volunteer from University City Church in Charlotte, says she hopes to positively impact low-income families and communities through this ministry.
“We just want people out there to realize there are people who love them,” Mack says. “It’s just rewarding to me. I love to love people.”
The Salisbury Fire Department, Rowan County Health Department and Goodwill Industries were also on hand to make people aware of the services they offer.
Mark Rustin, an organizer of the event from Christ Transformation Center in Salisbury, went throughout the community making people aware of the event and says he was very pleased with the turnout.
“The volume of people that we have here, and the response was probably the biggest thing,” Rustin said.
Rustin believes the community truly came together for the greater good and hopes this event can continue in years to come.
God’s Outreach Ministry, based in Charlotte, is an evangelism ministry focused on Charlotte’s most impoverished communities. God’s Outreach manages one of Charlotte’s largest grocery distribution ministries, annually distributing more than 10,000 grocery bags to needy families at locations in east and west Charlotte.