Area churches join forces to help Southeast students

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If you were at the Pittsburg Walmart this past Saturday morning you likely saw three ladies with shopping carts overflowing with school supplies – pencils, pens, paper, crayons and more. Now, more than $1,000 worth of school supplies have been bagged and will be available at the USD 247 Southeast enrollment this week.

“We should have a starter pack for every kid enrolled,” said Pastor Ben Scott of the First Baptist Church of Cherokee. “We’re doing this just mainly to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To love our neighbor. We know people are struggling. We have people in our church that struggle. We see the community struggles and we just want to give people one step up. And we love kids, and so we want to help the parents help the kids.”

In partnership with Bright Futures Southeast, last week the First Baptist Church of Cherokee hosted a school supply drive and ice cream social. In addition to the school supplies that were donated, $1,007 in cash and checks were donated. Donations came from the church’s own congregation, as well as from the Osage Church of the Brethren of McCune and the Triple C Cowboy Church of Weir, and other community members. Pastor Ben said he was very happy to see congregations from throughout the school district participate.

On Saturday, Amanda Perry, Jackie Scott and Krista Wood volunteered to do the shopping at the Pittsburg Walmart. They said they were very thankful the store allowed them to basically take over a checkout lane so that they could get out faster.

“Here at First Baptist of Cherokee we are humbled to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community and in the school system,” Amanda Perry said. “I just think it is a great opportunity for the students and the staff and the community to see that we in this community can come together, come alongside them and help them… We’re all in this together.”

On Sunday, a group of around 15 members of the First Baptist Church of Cherokee volunteered the time to bag up the school supplies. Bags were donated by Marrone’s Inc. of Pittsburg. One of the volunteers was a recent Southeast High School graduate, and soon to be Pittsburg State student – Tim Clausen.

“We want to help out families so that that they don’t have to pay the full cost of school supplies because we know that some families need help and may not be able to afford it,” Clausen said. “We want to show what the Church stands for – by loving people, doing things that help people out and show them what it’s about really, without any expectations to get anything back.”

Church members will be volunteering to help distribute the starter packs at enrollment, which is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“I’m just excited for the school year, excited to be a part of Bright Futures and excited to help when and where we can,” Pastor Ben said.

To learn more about Bright Futures Southeast visit www.USD247.com/ BrightFutures.

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