On Aug. 3, about 50 students and 50 family members came together at Dowell Chapel United Methodist Church in Watertown for a church sponsored Back to School Assistance Program. Backpacks were provided free to every student.
The items included calculators, rulers, notebooks, notebook paper, composition books, crayons, markers, erasers, scissors, pens, paper, pencils and pencil sharpeners. A picnic was held also, which included hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, and water and sodas.
The target group for this free giveaway was single parents and one source income parent with school age children. This giveaway also included working parents who needed assistance to provide school supplies for their children. The focuses on this giveaway were students in the Watertown community that live, work, worship and have ties to Watertown. Local pastors in the community were informed of this giveaway also.
The event was coordinated by Rev. Michael R. Grooms, the pastor for Dowell Chapel United Methodist Church, with support from the committee of Mrs. Regina McCathern, Ms. Stephanie Grooms, and Mr. Winston Beard. Pastor Grooms said that the idea was placed in his heart by God. “Most families have to struggle to make ends meet, especially those on a fixed income. Sometimes it may mean making a tough choice of paying a bill, or not being able to provide their children with their needed school supplies” Pastor Grooms said.
Thanks to God and the Wal-Mart Cooperation Dowell Chapel United Methodist Church was able to achieve its goal for this special day. A special thanks goes out to Lebanon Wal-Mart store manager Jennifer Joyce for her help in the submission of this grant for the Watertown community and for the Lebanon store donating 10 cases of drinks that included water and sodas.
A thank you goes out to Jennifer Sircy for ensuring that the church received all the drinks that were donated by the Lebanon Wal-Mart. Thanks also go out to Target of Mt. Juliet for their monetary donation. Thanks go to each Cash Express Store in Lebanon, especially Kim and Heather at the West Main location. Cash Express provided boxes of cups, pens, copy paper, mints, suckers, and balloons and post it note pads, along with other items.
Thanks also goes out to the congregation at Dowell Chapel United Methodist Church for preparing, serving, and cleaning this day, especially the kitchen committee and Mr. Roosevelt Beard, Mr. Seth Beard, Mr. Winston Beard and Mr. Ryan Phillips.
It is the pastor’s prayer that this can become an annual event with God’s blessings. His hope is that the church has filled a need to help families that are struggling. He wants to ensure that all students have their school supplies to get the best education possible.