Church helps students get ready for school with backpacks, clothes

More than 150 backpacks, 600 pieces of clothes given away to students

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Kids will start heading back to school this month, but they need to be prepared with the right supplies.

A local community, Hebron Community Church in Grand Park, is stepping up to help.

"We're not just a church in the community, so we serve as a partner," said Stanley Platts, pastor at Hebron Community Church in the Grand Park community. "We do things within the community throughout the year to help aid families in their effort of making sure that their children have the things they need to be successful in life."

More than 150 backpacks and 600 pieces of clothes were given away for elementary to high school students.

For one mother of nine, the giveaway helps take a heavy burden off her back.

"Well, with me, I have nine children in all. Three are, you know, going to school. The rest of my kids are out of school, but it is truly a blessing because it's been a struggle," Carla Coemnos said. "My kids are, like, straight-A students, and they're -- I try to do everything possible to push them forward because, like I said, the times now, we got to get these kids some education because it's harder. It's not getting easier."

As the children get ready for another school year, Platts is already thinking about giving back during Christmas.

"The next thing we have coming up, we call it 'The Miracle on 13th Street.' It's a Christmas event, where we try to put on things to help kids to make their Christmas the Christmas that it should be," Platts said.

Any remaining supplies the Hebron Community Church has will be made available.

A similar event took place Saturday at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

Another back-to-school event was held at Greater El-Beth-El Divine Holiness Church. News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson was there, helping to bring smiles to kids' faces.

News4Jax is told an abundance of supplies and book bags were handed out, as well as free haircuts and health screenings.

The 13th annual family-friendly event also had plenty of food, fellowship and entertainment.

There’s also a giveaway Sunday.

For anyone who missed out Saturday, Journey Church in Jacksonville is having its annual backpack giveaway Sunday. It starts at 12:30 p.m., when church services get out.

More than 350 backpacks filled with school supplies will be given out to families in need.

LIST: Back-to-school giveaways in Jacksonville

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