A team effort between WMU Foundation and several others recently helped provide backpacks filled with school supplies to more than 150 Birmingham-area students.
The effort started when Lamar Benefield, a co-founder of the charity organization Brothers and Sisters Inquiring Change, mentioned to David George, president of WMU Foundation, that he needed backpacks and school supplies for the third annual 205 Magic City Back-to-School Bash, an Aug. 7 event his organization co-sponsored with Clippers Barbershop in Hueytown.
George said he immediately wondered if Send Relief, a compassion ministry of the International Mission Board an the North American Mission Board, might have any backpacks left over from their backpack projects. When he reached out, they said yes. He soon had 168 backpacks headed his way.
Churches get involved
“The churches were able to be an instrument and show the community that they care,” George said.
Bill Wilks, NorthPark’s pastor, said that’s exactly why a couple of his church’s discipleship groups collected supplies for the event.
“These groups are always looking for opportunities to show love to the community,” he said.
The University of Mobile donated copies of its “Be Known” devotional book for older students, The Alabama Baptist staff packed canvas bags with the supplies, and WMU Foundation volunteers packed all of those into the backpacks.
Showing love to the community
Benefield said he was thankful for George and the team of volunteers who helped him get the bags together.
“David is a great resource; he was going 110% for this,” Benefield said.
As for the event, he said B.A.S.I.C. Movement puts it on each year “to show that we care and just want to be there for the community the best way we can.”
In addition to the backpack giveaway, the event included free food, a bounce house, guest speakers and other resources. Lawson State Community College also had a representative there to talk to older students, as did the U.S. Army. Clippers Barbershop, which also hosted the event, gave free haircuts to 125 students.
For information about next year’s 205 Magic City Back-to-School Bash, contact Benefield at email@example.com.