By Michael Daniels
Journal Staff Reporter
On Saturday, August 10, 2019, more than 200 central city students and their parents participated in Calvary Missionary Baptist Church’s Third Annual Book Bag Give-Away at the church located at 702 Collingwood Blvd.
The giving away of book bags was really only a small part of what was a much larger community event. However, providing the students with book bags with supplies, so they could be prepared for the first day of school was the main objective of the day.
Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/Superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, who was present for the activities, explained why students having a book bag on the first day of school is so important. He said, “Kids really don’t own much in life, unlike adults who when they buy their first house or car, have pride in the ownership. For kids, on the first day of school, their pride in ownership is their book bag and supplies. It is something they own and they do a show and tell with the other kids”.
“The worst scenario is when on the first day of school the teacher says ‘let’s get started, take out your pencil and write this down,’ and one kid doesn’t have any supplies, while all the rest of the kids do. This can lead to anxiety and depression for a student on the first day of school because they don’t have their proper school supplies to get started with the class. Having their own supplies brings about a sense of anatomy and a sense of pride and ownership,” he said.
Beside free Book-Bags, there were free clothing give away, free face painting, free horseback riding, and free food. There was also entertainment from the Party Crashers (a Character for Hire Service) they brought along a Mascot the famous comic book character, The Black Panther (David Miles). He mingled with and amused the kids, while passing out Super Hero stickers, to all of the young people. For spiritual uplifting there was Gospel music from the Glass City Disciples.
Also, all the free Book-Bags came fully stocked with all the needed school supplies and were ready to go. All you had to be is a school-aged student and you qualify for a free book-bag!
Deacon Willie Tucker, the church chairman for the Give-Away explained, “This whole thing started when we used to have a community picnic and we gave away five bicycles. There was a little boy who really wanted a bicycle but he didn’t get one, and he was so disappointed. So, one of our sponsors suggested we give away something where a lot more kids could benefit from our events, and he suggested a book-bag giveaway. So that’s what we did and this is our third year doing so, and it’s been very successful. This year, we will give away over 200 book-bags with supplies”.
“That sponsor, Williams Homes, who suggested we give out book-bags is still with us today, along with some of our other sponsors. As, we as a church, reach out to serve the community around us. We are grateful to our sponsors for their help and donations. God has blessed us and we are just passing that blessing on”, said the Deacon.
Rev. Floyd Smith Jr., the pastor of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church commented about the giveaways saying, “Our title is Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and what missionary means is that we must reach out beyond these four walls into the community and try to bring people to Jesus Christ. We also try help with their spiritual needs as well as with their physical needs”.
“I believe with this give-away, we touching some lives and we are giving the kids what they need to be successful. If we can plant that seed, even a little bitty mustard seed will grow into a great big giant tree. That’s is what we are trying to do today, plant those seeds,” said the pastor.