School supply distribution set for August 12

  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Volunteer Margaret Burns helps a child find clothes for school at last year’s Hands of Christ ministry. FILE/CANTU/JOURNAL SCENE

Putting a smile on the face of child when they receive school supplies is what The Hands of Christ is all about.
During the first three weeks of each August since 2003, volunteers of Charleston area Presbyterian churches distributed school uniforms and school supplies to school children in grades K-8 in need.
On August 12 at 4 p.m., children in the Summerville area will be served at the Summerville Presbyterian Church on South Laurel Street.
The program is modeled after Manos de Cristo of Austin, Texas. The partnership was started in 2002 by the Zion-Olivet and Westminster Presbyterian Churches, when travelers to Austin spent three days observing and working with their Back-To-School Program. This trip was supported by a bequest from the estate of Blanche Kilpatrick.
With the help of a thank offering grant from the Presbyterian Women, the first distribution was held in Charleston in the Summer of 2003 with both congregations hosting distribution days.
The goal is to provide school uniforms and basic school supplies to needy students. In keeping with the Presbyterian Reformed tradition, education is the key to the success of individuals and communities. The program seeks to assist children in economic need as they begin the new school year with some of the necessary tools for success. While faith-based, children in need are served, regardless of their faith background.  All money donated is used to purchase uniforms and basic school supplies or to support logistics (e.g. rent storage space).  
Distribution rules are:
• Children being served must be present and accompanied by a parent or guardian.  The parent or guardian must have a picture ID.
• Children grades pre-K through 8th grade are served.
• Families are served only once per year so that as many families as possible are helped.
• Families will be served each day during the time posted or until capacity for that day is reached.  Families are advised to arrive early.

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