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Giveaway celebrates 10 years

For the 10th straight year the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironton put on Tools 4 School, an event designed to provide children with the supplies they need to start the school year.

The idea for the event came about when Kay Labosky, a member of All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington, asked the church’s senate who in southern Ohio needed help.

“I wanted to do something that would make a difference in a community,” Labosky said. “So I went to our senate, which covers all of southern Ohio, and asked them who could use some kind of help from our congregation. I was told that St. Paul, here in Ironton, had a lot of things they wanted to try and do but needed help getting them off and running.”

So the two churches got together and Tools 4 School was born.

“The first year we did mainly school clothes,” Labosky said. “But, we had some school supplies too. We noticed that first year the school supplies ran out in a flash and we thought, ‘OK, now we know what these kids need.’ So we’ve being doing materials for school ever since.”

This year the church also invited the Appalachian Family and Children’s First Council to be a part of the event. The AFCFC gave out books to more than 1,500 children.

“Thirty percent of Lawrence Countians can’t fill out a job application because they can’t read,” Todd Jones of AFCFC said. “So providing the children with books and getting them interested in reading is vitally important to changing that.”

During the event the children received backpacks filled with school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, rulers, and glue. The children also were served refreshments and got to play on inflatables provided by the church for free.

“It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of people to put this event on,” Nancy Corn, St. Paul Lutheran Church member, said. “But, when you see the smiles and appreciation shown by the kids, it is more than worth it.”