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Church helping students get Tools 4 Schools

A local church is providing area students with the proper school supplies as it has done for the past five years with hopes of making students’ days and ultimately lives a little smoother.

Saint Paul Lutheran Church is hosting its 5th annual Tools 4 Schools giveaway Saturday at 10 a.m. at 6th and Center streets.

“The first year (All Saints in Columbus) brought down slightly used clothes and school supplies because they wanted to do something in Lawrence County,” Nancy Corn, president of the women’s congregation at St. Paul Lutheran Church, said. “It was the school supplies that went like wildfire and we saw there was a need for that.”

She said the funding for the program comes from money collected by the committee from members of the church and local businesses. She also said Wal-Mart gave the church a $1,000 grant this year.

Corn said the program does not ask any questions or proof of anything, so anyone who needs school supplies should attend the event Saturday.

“It’s embarrassing for students who start school without the same thing everyone else has,” she said. “It’s bound to have a negative effect on them.”

Hazel Brown, coordinator of direct care services at Cammack Children’s Center in Huntington, W.Va. and a member of the church, said the children from the center received backpacks for the past few years. This year, eight of the girls from Cammack Children’s Center helped pack the backpacks.

“One of the 13-year-old girls said ‘I wonder if I had school supplies would I have done better in school’”, she said. “We find that truancy occurs because they don’t have good bases in early grades. By the time we get the kids they are already (usually) struggling academically.”

Brown said the giveaways have introduced members in the program to new things.

“Two years ago, the giveaway had Hardy Boy Mystery books from a publishing company,” she said. “We spent the rest of fall checking out Hardy Boy Mystery books from the library. These are kids that wouldn’t normally go to the library.”

She said the children from the center are also not used to reception from people or being receptive.

“With my children, when they come to get the book bags, they are kind of surprised and impressed that people are so giving,” Brown said. “My children don’t get the opportunity to help others.”

Brown said Tools 4 Schools is her favorite event the church does because she sees the importance of the giveaway.

“I work with the end result,” she said. “The children who didn’t have these things in their youth and this may make a difference.”