By Kimberly Jordan
College Hills Church of Christ is gearing up for a flood of sorts.
There will be a flood of local students and their parents making their way into the church campus July 27 for the annual School Store sponsored by the church. This marks the 18th year for the giveaway, according to Annabelle Robinson, who along with her husband Jim, coordinates the event.
"We were invited by Larry Locke (minister at that time) to go to Memphis to talk to some church leaders there that had a similar program," she said. "We started on a very small scale at the old building when we were located on College Street."
She added that both she and her husband were actively teaching at the time the school store started.
"Jim was principal at Carroll-Oakland and at Lakeview Elementary and had previously taught at Castle Height Military Academy and I was currently at Lebanon High School," Robinson noted.
What began as a small event has grown into a morning of shopping for hundreds of local kids in need.
"We prepare for around 1,000 children," Robinson said. The event is to aid children in 10 area schools who do not have the means to obtain all needed school supplies for the upcoming year. Students at each of the Lebanon City Schools - Byars Dowdy, Winfree Bryant, Sam Houston, Coles Ferry, Castle Heights and Walter J. Baird - as well as Southside Elementary, Tuckers Crossroads, Watertown Elementary and Carroll-Oakland, are invited to shop.
Volunteers from the church are already hard at work stuffing the backpacks with supplies, Robinson said.
"We have a lot of people who are members here who come and help," she said. "We have apple trees in the building for members to pick and shop for supplies, and several of those have been picked."
So just what can a student find at the school store? Pretty much anything that they could need.
"We have binders, notebook paper, pencils, crayons, erasers, markers, glue, scissors, first and second grade tablets - just about all the essentials," Robinson said.
There is also a selection of clothing for families who may need it. Robinson noted that they receive monetary donations to help purchase some items and people also donate gently used pieces that their own children have outgrown.
"We give out every piece of clothing every year," said Robinson.
The School Store will be open from 8-11 a.m. July 27 at the church at 1401 Leeville Pike.