College Hills Church of Christ will host its 19th annual School Store Saturday morning to help families in need by handing out school supplies.
“Nineteen years ago, some of the elders and our preaching minister, Larry Locke, invited my husband and I to go to Memphis to see a program that a church in Memphis was doing with inner-city kids,” said Annabelle Robinson. “So we jumped in that first year. We had about 200 people show up.”
She and her husband, Jim, are both retired educators with 30 years experience each in schools.
“We’re trying to reach families who really need this,” Robinson said. “We do everything we can.”
Last year’s store saw more than 1,100 children come to the church for items including notebook paper, pencils, folders, glue and more.
“We don’t have everything that’s on their school lists, but we have the basics,” said Robinson.
The majority of items available at the school store have been donated by church members. Robinson said the members are “very, very generous. It all comes from them through their contributions.” She said they receive monetary donations to buy supplies, and some members even buy items on their own and bring them in.
Also available this year there will be “a lot of backpacks. We will give away some school uniforms and clothing,” Robinson said.
The store is open Saturday from 8-11 a.m. to students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at the following schools: Byars Dowdy, Southside, Carroll-Oakland, Tuckers Crossroads, Watertown Elementary, Castle Heights Elementary, Walter J. Baird and Winfree Bryant Middle, Coles Ferry and Sam Houston.
Robinson said the church parking lot will be open at 6 a.m. for families to park and line up for the store to open.