St. John's Missionary hosts 'Back to School Fair'

St. John's Missionary hosts 'Back to School Fair'

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A local church kicked off its 2nd annual Back to School Fair today and offered everything from free school supplies to free health checks.

St. John's Missionary Baptist Church provided over 500 backpacks with school supplies such as paper, pencils, crayons, and spirals in them. Dental supplies such as toothbrushes and toothpaste were also given along with tissues, and a free lunch to families and children of all ages. The churches goal is to make sure everyone has what they need to succeed in school this year.

"I looked at my son’s school supplies list and I was like, what,” said Samantha Harvey, mother of two.

Harvey is a mother of two children with big dreams. She says she wants nothing more than for her kids to succeed, but with the price of school supplies on the rise, she says it's hard to do it alone. With the help of Pastor J. Weldon Gilbert, families like Harvey's don't have to worry.

"We have an opportunity to be a blessing to the community and to be a blessing to so many unfortunate parents,” said Gilbert.

"It's a great thing, especially for us single mothers that can't afford to get all the school supplies, so I think it's just an awesome thing that they're doing to be able to help everybody out,” said Harvey.

Harvey says it's events like this that speak volume about the community and how much people want the next generation to succeed.

"That some people do care about the other people in the city that they live in,” said Harvey.

Dr. Sylvia Williams, a member and chairman at the church, says she first started the back to school fair after her time as a principal. She was sick and tired of all the expenses being the reason children were not prepared, so she decided to make a difference.

"So many kids came to school the first day of school without even a pencil and so this makes them feel good to be able to show up to school and I've got most of the things that I need to be successful and that's what it's all about,” said Williams.

Williams says it's the simplest things we take for granted such as a tooth brush or a pencil are the things some kids need to feel ready to go to school and learn. She says the community will always have these families’ backs.

"We are a family and everybody says it takes a whole village to raise a child. It really does in today's time,” said Williams.

If you attended the fair today and still have your raffle ticket, you can come to St. John's Baptist Church tomorrow morning at any of the services to win one of the five, 25 dollar gift cards to Walmart to pay for school clothes or supplies.

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