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Pencil it in: School supply giveaway set for Saturday

This year marks the sixth annual Tools 4 School giveaway at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Organizers expect at least 2,000 backpacks to be filled with school supplies and given to children in need on Saturday.

“We have always just felt like children should have what they need to start school,” said Nancy Corn, who is on the Tools 4 School committee.

Corn said that each year, St. Paul Lutheran Church works with schools from the different districts to compile a list of the different supplies needed for each grade level. The items are put into backpacks and each child can pick his or her favorite.

She also said that they try to buy backpacks that are appropriate for each age level, such as cartoon characters for the younger children.

Corn said that they also receive help from other churches.

“The biggest support we get is from All Saints Lutheran in Dublin,” said Corn.

All Saints will be arriving on Friday with 1,000 backpacks to match the 1,000 that St. Paul’s has collected.

In the past five years, St. Paul’s estimates that through this project they have given away about 8,800 backpacks to at least 28 school districts.

The giveaway starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Corn said that any child in need could come and get a backpack. They will only ask the child’s grade level and school district.

The Tools 4 School project is held in conjunction with First United Methodist Church’s Summer Fest.

“It has grown into a community event,” said David Ritchie, pastor of St. Paul’s. He said that there would be inflatables, food and games.

Center Street will be blocked off between Fifth and Sixth Streets for the festivities.

The backpacks will be given away from 10 a.m. to until between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. or until they are gone, said Corn.

She also said that if there are any left, they will keep them at the church, and they will be available if anyone wants to contact the church.

For those wanting to donate more school supplies, Corn said she is able to pick them up or they can be dropped off at the church. Corn’s phone number is 533-2676. St. Paul’s phone number is 532-4727.

Corn said that there would be people at the church on Thursday packing the backpacks.

“It is very important we address this need,” said Ritchie. “This is one way to show God’s love, for people to help each other.”