Bishop Fred T. Simms and Heart of God Ministries will host its 12th annual Back to School Community Event from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 3.
The event began with a vision to distribute backpacks and school supplies to children and to bring people in and around the Beckley community together for a day of fun and fellowship in a spirit of unity.
The theme for this year’s event is “Healthy Families — Healthy Communities.” Activities will center on developing and strengthening our children and families — mind, body and soul.
The event has grown dramatically in size and scope with several hundred attendees each year. Last year, nearly 700 children received backpacks and school supplies. The growth and expansion of the event, coupled with the sluggish economy, has further increased the need for supplies to be distributed this year, say organizers.
“We do not want to deny any child that attends the event school supplies,” said Roslyn Artis, event coordinator.
A fundraising drive was launched in April to generate donations from local individuals, businesses, community and nonprofit organizations. In addition to donations, a plethora of local businesses, religious, civic and service organizations and agencies are needed to volunteer their expertise and time in various capacities, including disseminating information and providing activities designed to enlighten all participants on how to become healthier — mind, body and spirit.
“We are asking that members of the community consider becoming a part of this effort by assisting us with donations of supplies and/or funding to help prepare children for the upcoming school year. We want to make sure that every child gets off to a healthy, positive start, and that will take resources — both human and financial,” said Artis.
Entertainment will be provided by Jay Critz from Lee University’s Kingdom Players Drama Team among others. Events will include a rock climbing wall, a face painting booth and a cake walk. Drawings will be held throughout the day and there will also be a guest appearance by Sweet Frog from the Sweet Frog Yogurt Shop.
Any organization or individual wishing to assist with this effort is encouraged to contact Artis at 304-673-4727.