Churches join forces in school supply drive

Goal to fill 1,500 backpacks at ‘drive-by’ back-to-school celebration Aug. 8

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The Good Fight Church’s Joshua Laughter, Associate Pastor, John Phipps, Lead Pastor, and Phipps’ daughter, Vivian Phipps, 9, pack backpacks for an upcoming school supply drive organized by local churches. (Photo by Robert Medley)

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Thousands of people are expected at a special drive-thru event next month as 17 Yukon churches join forces to help families who can’t afford school supplies.

Yukon’s fifth annual school supply drive distribution will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 at The Good Fight Church, 500 E Main.

The goal is to fill 1,500 backpacks and equip local students to succeed as they start the 2020-21 school year.

“We are doing a drive-thru in the back parking lot and the Regional Food Bank will be giving away boxes of food in the north parking lot,” said project coordinator Amy Bowles, children’s pastor at Good Fight Church.

Free haircuts will be offered next door at Liberty Church, 450 E Main.

The effort benefits students in pre-school through 12th grade.

The school supplies – now being collected at drop-off locations in local churches and businesses – will be handed out to students in need.

“I love the idea of community unity,” Bowles said.

“Our vision is to reach and meet the needs of those in our local community. Our dream is that every community does something like this where all the local fellowships get together and provide for the needs of their community.”

Organizers are requiring that families pre-register for the Aug. 8th school supply drive distribution to prevent congestion in the City of Yukon. Each family signs up for a time slot to come pick up their supplies and other gifts, and they can enjoy some fun activities.

Nearly 700 students already have been registered. Some 967 students picked up free school supplies and 130 received haircuts during the August 2019 event.

Plans call for this year’s drive-by celebration to feature a dunk tank and games children can play through their vehicle windows.

The goal of this back-to-school event is to “show the love of Jesus” and “meet the needs of the people in our community”, Bowles shared.

“We still believe that Jesus is really, really fun and we want to expose all our families in our community to that.”

Some children will receive skating passes and free movie rentals donated by Yukon businesses.

“A thousand families are going to go home with a lot of awesome stuff for their kids to be able to do in our community,” Bowles said.

“Any family – if they come early and stay late – should be done with everything in about 90 minutes. The actual drive-through shouldn’t take half an hour.

“We’re really praying over that just to leave a good taste in people’s mouths. We understand that they will be staying in their cars and so we’re trying to honor that time.”

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‘OVERWHELMING SUPPORT’

Event organizers have seen “overwhelming support” from the community, Bowles noted.
Seventeen local churches already have partnered for the 2020 school supply drive:
The Good Fight Church, Grit Church, Trinity Baptist Church, Bethel Community Church, Passion Church, Frontline Yukon, Liberty Church, Covenant Community Church, Life Church Yukon, South Yukon Church of Christ, The Fellowship at Western Oaks, Canadian Valley Baptist Church, Town & Country Christian Church, The House of Restoration, Canadian Hills Church of the Nazarene, Resurrection Lutheran Church, and Stable Rock Baptist Church.

Various community resource partners also are participating in the Aug. 8th school supply program in Yukon.

“Lots of places that take Sooner Care or are free to families are going to be there sharing what they do and where those families can contact them,” Bowles said.

The 17 participating churches and 10 businesses have drop boxes for school supply and monetary donations to support the effort. People also can contribute school supplies during “Stuff the Bus” events on upcoming Saturdays at two local shopping centers.

Yukon’s school year is set to begin Thursday, Aug. 20.

For the complete list of drop-off sites and to register for the Aug. 8th back-to-school celebration, visit http://www.yukonschoolsupply.com