Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 6, 2012

Churches’ back-to-school bash to provide school supplies to children in need

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Free school supplies will be available for local children in need as part of a back-to-school bash being held by five Tazewell County churches.

The 4th Annual Son-Shine Celebration will be held beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the farmer’s market in downtown Bluefield, Va., and is sponsored by Bethel United Methodist Church, Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Falls Mills Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church and Virginia Avenue Methodist Church.

Dr. Don Scott, a retired minister from United Methodist Church, said the event includes free food, crafts, music and other activities in addition to the school supply giveaway.

“This is the fourth year we’ve held the event,” Scott said. “There are five United Methodist churches involved in this. We met and got together the agenda for the celebration, the food, and the packets of school supplies for the kids and so on. It has just taken a few weeks to organize. Different people have been doing different things. Some of the ladies have been buying the supplies, others have been getting together the food while others are getting together some crafts.”

Scott said separate packets are made up for different age groups.

“Last year we gave out some 300 school packets (to children) who came and we are hoping to do the same this year,” Scott said. “The packets contain paper, pencil, crayons, rulers and different things like that. We make out different packets for high school kids. It’s a pretty good little packet of school supplies for the kids.”

According to Scott, the purpose of the event is to help out children in the community.

“It expresses our love and concern for the community and for the children in school,” Scott said. “It is a good service project the churches want to do. It doesn’t have anything to do with converting people to the Methodist Church. It is our way of expressing our interest in our community and the kids who go to our local schools. Our main concern is helping the children and those who are less fortunate or cannot financially purchase the bare essentials for school.”

Scott said having the necessary supplies helps children prepare for the upcoming school year.

“It is very important that all the children receive adequate materials that help them when they start the school year,” Scott said. “We know there are some who are limited on what they can do. Any child who comes will receive a packet of material regardless of what their status. It is really first come, first serve. It’s also a fun time with music, crafts and things like that.”

During the event, school supplies will be distributed to Virginia-side students. The student must be present in order to receive the school supplies.

— Contact Kate Coil at

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