One Body/One Mission backpack drive delivers the (scholastic) goods
One Body-One Mission back pack drive co-chairperson Sherry Curry, of Cherryville Area Ministries (left) with Jamie McSwain and some of the supplies-laden back packs at last Saturday’s school supplies and back pack drive held at Cherryville First Baptist Church’s COC. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)
by MICHAEL E. POWELL
One-hundred, fifteen-plus school kids, as well as their parents and grandparents, were noticeably happier last Saturday, Aug. 17, as a group of local churches once again handed out school supplies-stuffed backpacks.
In its seventh year, the One Body-One Mission Community School Supplies Drive not only met the needs of the 113-115 already registered kids, but had enough school supplies “overage” to have a generic table (as they always do) to fill the needs and requirements of those who weren’t registered ahead of time, but came by to get help from the churches represented.
Co-chairs Kim Eaker and Sherry Curry said local churches and organizations came together for the annual community school supply drive, held on Aug. 17, from 10 a.m., until 12 noon at the First Baptist Church of Cherryville’s Christian
Outreach Center (COC) building. Said Mrs. Eaker, “Registration for the book bags was June 1, through Aug. 1. If someone did not register for their child to get a bag, we had a table for ‘first come, first serve’ families that day also.”
Mrs. Curry noted the morning was one of giving, dedicated to serving the children of the Cherryville community with school supplies and free haircuts.
The Rev. Ben Kifer, of Saint John’s Lutheran Church, said, “The Table of Grace provided hotdogs and drinks as a ministry to feed those who came.”
Eaker and Curry were please to see the turnout of volunteers, as well as the prayer partners who paved the way, so to speak, with prayer before the event.
Eaker noted the “sorting and packing” took place well before the event, on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m., at First Baptist.
Eaker said the event has been going on for seven years now and added, “I think this one is about the biggest I have seen so far. People were lined up when we opened the doors all the way outside and up to about the road. I believe this was the most kids we’ve had registered this year!”
Eaker said the kids were also treated to before school starts hair cuts by eight stylists from four businesses: Trudie’s Classic Cuts of Cherryville (Trudie Homesley, owner/operator); The Ivey Salon of Lowell (Samantha Hayes), Southern Roots Salon (Heather Griffin), and Paul Mitchell, The School of Gastonia (four students under the direction of Meredith Jones).
Said Mrs. Homesley, “I’ve done this for a long time and I really enjoy it!”
In addition to the back pack give-aways, representatives from the Cherryville Police Department and the Cherryville Fire Department were on hand to give out goodies to the kids, as well as safety and back-to-school information.
Lieutenant Brandon Parker and Patrol Officer Jason Parton, of the CPD, talked to the kids and their parents and grandparents about school bus safety and other related safety issues.
Said Officer Parton, “This is my sixth year in doing this and it seems to be going good so far. The kids seem to be excited about getting back to school.”
Fire Department personnel handed out small replica firemen hats and showed off the big, red, fire truck they had pulled to the front of the COC.
Co-Chair Curry said this was her seventh year to be involved in the back pack event, adding she has loved every minute of it.
“I think it was an excellent turnout today,” she said, noting also that she thought the number was “around 115” kids who had previously registered through Saint John’s.
Representatives from various churches manned the tables full of supplies-laden back packs, Curry said, pointing out Second Baptist Church volunteers as well as other churches at and around the other tables.