Church collects $20,000 for school supplies
By Robin M. Perry
For the Salisbury Post
More than 1,500 backpacks were piled high as volunteers moved along a row of tables stacked with school supplies to be stuffed into the backpacks.
More than 100 volunteers came to help fill the bags at High Rock Community Church Monday night. Children, parents and teachers at five area elementary schools will benefit from the project, which was the result of a brainstorming session of the pastors from High Rock.
“We wanted to help outside the walls of the church,” said founding pastor, Ray Johnson of High Rock Community Church.
The backpack idea emerged during the pastors’ retreat.
“We wanted to meet a need in the community, and with the economy today, helping with school supplies seemed to fit,” he said. “This is one way we could give back and make a difference.”
Each of the church’s campuses “adopted” a school and worked with counselors and staff to ensure the school supplies go to children on the free lunch and reduced lunch program.
High Rock Community Church is one church with several locations.
The East campus adopted Morgan Elementary and West adopted Overton Elementary.
The Denton campus will supply Silver Valley Elementary and Kannapolis will send packs to Forest Park Elementary.
Forest Park was the initial location of the Kannapolis campus of High Rock, prior to moving to their present location on Cannon Boulevard.
East Albemarle Elementary will benefit from the newest campus, which is not yet open in Albemarle.
Four of the six campuses raised enough money to fill 1,512 backpacks with the basic school supplies kids need. Approximately $20,000 was raised when church members were asked to contribute $15 for each backpack.
Debbie File, Kid’s Club coordinator, organized the project, finding Dollar Days, a supplier of the school items, “that went above and beyond for us.
“They were outstanding and took a personal interest in this ministry,” she said.
Each bag was loaded with notebook paper, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, pencils, markers, glue sticks and crayons. A card is included saying “given in the name of Jesus Christ — provided by High Rock Church.”
“This is a way to minister to the community that we have not done before,” said Ron Loflin a High Rock pastor who is leading the new Albemarle campus.
He too was awed by the response of the volunteers who contributed money and showed up to pack the bags.
“It’s amazing to me to see people sacrificing and stepping up to fill a need,” he said.
Bethany Connor, 12, got creative with her bag packing, draping five backpacks at one time over her arms to be filled by other volunteers with all the supplies.
Kevin and Cybil Jones brought their three daughters, Ella, 5; Lucy 2; and 3-month-old Macy to fill the backpacks.
“We wanted to give the girls an opportunity to serve,” said Cybil. Ella seemed to enjoy every minute.”
Once the packing started, the room was buzzing with activity. Forty minutes later, every backpack was filled.
Dennis Welch, Care Pastor for West was amazed.
“This is awesome,” he said. “It is so cool to see people from all six of our campuses here to fill over 1,500 bags in 40 minutes,” he said, noting how great it was to see children involved, too.
Ava Basinger, age 2, worked with great enthusiasm filling packs and loading them in her parents’ car.
Amanda and Joe Basinger came to fill the packs with their life group from High Rock.
“We just want to reach people and show God’s love,” said Ava’s mom, Amanda Basinger.