Alabaster church holding school supply drive

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stacks of donated school supplies fill the pulpit in the main sanctuary at Alabaster's First United Methodist Church on July 22. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Stacks of donated school supplies fill the pulpit in the main sanctuary at Alabaster’s First United Methodist Church on July 22. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – After members of Alabaster’s First United Methodist Church smashed their goal for last year’s school supply drive for children in need, they set their sights much higher this year.

“Last year, we set a goal of making 100 backpacks. This is such a generous church that we were able to surpass that goal,” church Pastor Sherry Harris said during a July 21 interview. “So we increased our goal to 200 this year.”

So far, the church seems on track to hit the increased goal, she said.

Over the past few weeks, church members have been donating everything from binders to tissues in an effort to ensure all of the city’s students are prepared for the first day of school – regardless of their socioeconomic status.

The supply drive officially ends on July 26, but Harris said the church will continue to accept any donations during the weeks leading up to the first day of classes.

Through the drive, which is an annual event for Alabaster First United Methodist, the church encourages donations of backpacks, No. 2 pencils, loose leaf notebook paper, three-ring binders, glue sticks, boxes of tissues, composition notebooks, plastic folders, 24-count Crayon boxes, $1-$5 headphones and child-size scissors.

After the supply drive ends, members of the congregation will use them to make backpacks to donate to children whose families otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford school supplies.

The majority of the backpacks – 125 – will go to Alabaster’s Kids First Awareness Community Center, which serves at-risk youth in the Simmsville community. Other school supplies will be donated to local foster children, and will be given to school counselors to distribute as needed.

On July 22, the pulpit in the church’s main sanctuary and a portion of its Restore building were packed with stacks of donated school supplies ready to be packed into backpacks.

“We are the church that loves people,” Harris said. “The response has been terrific.”

Those interested in donating to the supply drive can drop items off at the church at 10903 Alabama 119 in Alabaster, or can call the church at 663-0509.