Churches give away backpacks in back-to-school bash

Congregations offer free supplies, shoes and haircuts

Kinsey Dennison gives Lanceson Etsitty a back-to-school haircut at the church-sponsored Back2School Bash at the Cortez Recreation Center last year. Elementary students again will receive free haircuts and backpacks that contain basic school supplies. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Kinsey Dennison gives Lanceson Etsitty a back-to-school haircut at the church-sponsored Back2School Bash at the Cortez Recreation Center last year. Elementary students again will receive free haircuts and backpacks that contain basic school supplies.

Denominations throughout Montezuma County are coming together to throw a back-to-school bash for area children for the second year in a row.

Last year, 166 children received backpacks containing school supplies, and 60 children had their hair cut for free, said Zandra Hart, pastor of Community of Believers in Cortez.

“Times are very difficult right now, and we need to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ helping out our community,” she said.

In addition to backpacks, this year Samaritan’s Feet, a worldwide nonprofit will give away 255 pairs of new shoes.

Hart sees the event as an opportunity for churches to lay their doctrinal differences aside and reach children.

Hart contacted 39 churches in the area to give them the opportunity to donate backpacks filled with basic school supplies to help support scholastic and religious education.

“We recognize every child has a purpose,” she said.

She founded the event because she didn’t want children to feel the brunt of economic recession. Last year, she said, many single mothers and fathers attended the event.

A second-grade teacher at Dolores Elementary School, Megann Vialpando, attended the event last year on behalf of the Evangel Assembly of God.

She said she decided to go back because it gives kids an avenue of support they may not have otherwise. She said that she sees the need for it on the first day of school.

“I see these poor little kiddos come in without anything, and they don’t have anything to show to their friends,” she said.

Seven churches in the area plan to participate, but the event is still open to those congregations that would like to get involved.

“It’s awesome to work with these other congregations,” she said.

Churches are asked to donate 40 backpacks, or as many as the congregation can afford, filled with supplies.

Churches are also invited to set up a booth at events to speak with parents. The event is also still in need of those willing to wash children’s feet before they receive their new pair of shoes.

Churches may participate by contacting Debra Jorgenson at info@ doloreschristianchildcare.org

The event will be held Aug. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lifeway Baptist Church, 601 N. Dolores Road, Cortez.

mshinn@cortezjournal.com