A local church group is doing what it can to ensure Bulloch County children start school with the proper tools.
On Saturday, individuals representing Believers Church in Statesboro will, for a fifth consecutive year, host a Back to School Bash and give away book bags and school supplies to area students (entering kindergarten through eighth grade).
The church will pass out 500 bags to the first 500 kids that attend the event, which is being held from 9-11 a.m. at the church, on Harville Road.
"At the church, we like to go out into the community to give back. A lot of people look at churches as always having their hands out, asking for money. We just wanted to be different, and offer help to the community," said Mike Oglesby, an outreach pastor who organized the event. "We just want to be a blessing to the kids, and to the community."
According to Oglesby, every book bag will contain items children likely will need, regardless of grade level. Bags will include glue sticks, rulers, pencils, pens, erasers, folders and index cards.
"We have had teachers at our church who have talked about how kids would come to class, to begin a year, with no supplies because their families could not afford them in time," he said. "We began hosting this event because we wanted to help and see what we could do. The giveaway gives the kids a little head start and prepares them for the beginning of school. It has been received very well. Kids and parents are always very appreciative."
In addition to the giveaway, the church will host several games and attractions for students.
A youth band will provide live music, while guests can enjoy "a big slide, a bounce house, a dunking booth, snow cones and more," Oglesby said.
Officials representing AirEvac Statesboro, the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office and the Statesboro Fire Department will be on hand.
To receive a bag, students must be present.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.