Harvest Time Church Filling Backpacks For Children

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The first day of school is just weeks away. Harvest Time Church in Fort Smith worked to prepare kids in need with all the pencils, notebooks, and binders that they will need for this upcoming school year. Volunteers gathered inside the gym at Harvest Time Church to help stuff bookpacks on Monday (July 28).

It's a tradition five years in the making where volunteers stuff 3,000 backpacks with all sorts of school supplies.

"Hundreds of volunteers will come into the gym and they will jump into the assembly line," said Farrah Shoppach, who is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Harvest Time Church. " They will grab a backpack and fill it with pens, paper, notebooks, and that is all due to a supply list from the public school," said Shoppach.

Volunteers filled 65, 000 pieces of school supplies that they collected into backpacks.

"We grew it from 450 backpacks to 3, 000 now and hopefully each year we can add more because there is a great need for it," said Community Director at Harvest Time Church, April Phipps.

Shoppach said that the backpack outreach is very important to Harvest Time and to our community to help families get ready to go back to school.

Volunteers will then hand them out to kids, kindergarten through sixth grade.

"The smiles on the kids face is huge and they are so happy over different little backpacks full of pens, pencils, and notebooks," said Shoppach. " They are so excited and they are giving high fives and just thanking you for a backpack full of supplies, " said Shoppach.

Phipps said, " To know that we helped them for something, a very practical need something that they needed, its very rewarding to know that you were a part of that."

Harvest Time Church will hand out 3,000 backpacks on Saturday (August 2). Volunteers will be at two locations in Fort Smith including Zero Street and Kelly Highway.

If you want to pick up a backpack for your child, Harvest Time said your child must be with you when you go to get it on Saturday.