Harmony Assembly of God Church at 1324 Greasy Valley Road, will conduct its fourth annual giveaway of clothing for back to school needs Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Church pastor, the Rev. Tammy Frederick said she’s expecting this year’s clothing giveaway to be the biggest ever.
“Last year, we had 250 to 300 people,” Frederick said. “Each year, it’s gotten bigger.”
Members of the church have been gathering clothes for several months. In May, the church was broken into and some of the clothing was stolen.
“We inventoried what was left and strategically purchased replacement items to fill size and style gaps,” Frederick said. “We believe that, as a result of the break in, we have a better selection and greater ability to minister to the needs of our community.”
The giveaway of clothing will go on until noon Saturday or until all of the clothing or people are gone. The clothing will be set up in the church and is available, free of charge, for school age students from any district; however, children must be present to receive clothing.
“Following a break in this past spring, organizers have inventoried what clothing was left and strategically replaced items by size and style to make this what we believe will be the best give away yet,” Frederick said. “We have inventoried thousands of articles of new clothing available, ranging in sizes from children’s 4t to adult 3x. We have hundreds of pairs of jeans and shorts, shirts and dresses, and almost 300 pair of shoes.
“The new items will be set up in the sanctuary area of the church, and an even larger amount of gently-worn used clothing will be set up in the fellowship hall, across the hall,” she said. “Every student will be given a bracelet when they enter, and those with bracelets will be allowed to choose two outfits (two tops and two bottoms or two dresses) and one pair of shoes, while supplies last. After students make their selection, the student will go through a “check out line” where his or her clothing tags and bracelet will be removed. They will then be given access to the used part, where they may choose as much as they can wear. After several years of working this event, we have done our best to make changes in areas where there has been congestion or questions in the past. Our desire is to serve every child with dignity and respect; however, the limit and rules are put in place to assure all students are able to receive.”
The event is open to students from any school district and “is our way of giving back to our community that we love so much,” Frederick said.
“Our inventory list of the items ready to be given away assures those who have organized this event that there is a large number of each size available; however, it is a “first come/first serve” event,” she said. “Please help us by making sure that your children are with you, that they receive a bracelet before they enter and that the student is the one who takes the clothing through the “check out line.”
Organizers are very excited about the event, but also want to remind those who plan to attend that the church is in the process of building a Family Life Center and construction is under way.
“We will have those areas roped off, but please be careful in parking and moving about so that no one trips or falls in the process,” she said.