Categories: Giveaways

One Church Holds Backpack Raffle, Festival | Herald community newspapers

Over the past few summers, One Church has typically hosted an initiative to spread God’s love through a free backpack and school supply giveaway. The event called “Love Our City: Summerfest” is a means for the church to engage with its community and not just provide them with bags, pencils and pens.

“We did it several years ago, but because of everything that was going on, we had to stop it,” said Pastor Cecil of One Church. The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a damper on their typical community outreach and messaging, but now they plan to come back tenfold with carnival events, food and more.

“He’s back, and the heart is to bless our community and children with 250 backpacks full of school supplies,” Pastor Cecil said. “In recent years, we have tried to spread the word through our local networks, community organizations and schools. We gave away 150 [backpacks]but this year, we said let’s go a little bigger and see what happens.”

Pastor Cecil is confident the turnout will be as large as his planned offering, saying it will be like a “carnival field event on the church premises in the parking lot. There will be a bounce house. There will be live music and other carnival games.” He said they will even have a food truck with Mr. Softee’s tasty ice cream. Never before has One Church done this event on such a large scale, but that doesn’t deter Pastor Cecil ; in any case, it drives him and his mission.

He said: “We had it four years ago, which is something we just wanted to bless our community. That’s why our initiative is called ‘love our city.’ We try to express that through different ways to bless people of our community to build partnerships with families and other organizations that already know.”

Pastor Cecil said this is one of many different opportunities offered to the community through One Church and the city of Elmont. He hopes the outreach will reach Elmont schools, especially the elementary school children targeted for the school supplies.

Several past collaborations with One Church have helped resonate the message outward. Gateway Youth Outreach, Belmont Raceway Chaplaincy and other local school districts have helped One Church in the past. Messaging is vital to the success of the church initiative.

“In terms of scope, we usually do different things during different seasons. But other than that, we have our church ministry events, which are on Sunday mornings, and the main services at 10:30,” Pastor Cecil said. “We’ll have children’s events in September and young people on Fridays and Sundays.”

The Pentecostal church wants everyone to know that everyone is welcome at the August 27th event and really any other event it holds, especially at services. For this event, however, supplies and backpacks will be limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

“We just want them to get off on the right foot, on the right foot when they start the school year and not have to worry about whether they’re going to have enough supplies or the things they need,” Pastor Cecil said. “In each bag there will be about 34 school supplies.”

“Everything is in this kit, and everything is sponsored by the church. It’s an act of kindness and also of generosity and love, that’s why we call the initiative ‘love our city,'” said Pastor Cecil.

The event will start at 12 noon for four hours. 250 backpacks will be supplied with 34 school items for each. Families are encouraged to come not just for the free gear, but for the food, ice cream, carnival rides and festive music.


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