School supply ministry expands to touch hundreds of children
By LPR Staff
After seven years of growing, the First Assembly of God’s School Supply Giveaway Ministry has burst at the seams, overflowing to share back-to-school gifts with children across Caldwell County.
According to pastor Leo Miller, whose wife, Terry, has been instrumental in organizing the ministry over the last several yea
rs, this year’s program was successful enough to share the supplies collected with children outside Lockhart.
“We have a sister program in Luling this year,” he said. “That’s something that we’ve never had before. We were able to send 100 backpacks there, and have another 215 to give away here.”
The ministry is as simple as it is useful.
Each year, volunteers raise funds and collect donations, then purchase backpacks and fill them with grade-appropriate school supplies, according to the lists distributed by the Lockhart Independent School District. Those full backpacks are then given, free of charge, to community children in need.
“Some of the people here have been waiting since about 6:30 this morning,” T. Miller said just before the backpacks were distributed on Saturday morning. “And we appreciate your patience. We also appreciate the many, many volunteers and donors that help us, through God’s love, to make this possible every year.”
Miller said the ministry this year raised more than $13,000 through local and church support, but still had to turn some children away.
“We distribute on a first come, first served basis,” he said. “And this has grown so much, and the need in the community is so great, that we still don’t have enough to give a backpack to everyone. What we will do, though, is get the names and contact information for everyone that’s still in line [after the backpacks have all been distributed] and make sure that they, too, get something.”
Both Millers agreed one of the main reasons the church began the outreach program seven years ago was to share God’s love with the community, regardless of their religious preferences.
“We want to make sure that the parents and the kids know, as they return to school, that someone loves them and someone is thinking about them.”
They expect the ministry will continue to grow, with additional donations being made in Luling and throughout Caldwell County in the future.