Back­pack do­na­tions equip 200 Ne­wark kids for new school year

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­

Hun­dreds of kids are bet­ter equipped to start school later this month, thanks to a Ne­wark church’s ef­forts to dis­trib­ute back­packs and school sup­plies to fam­i­lies in need.

New Heart Min­istries held its sec­ond-an­nual back­pack give­away Satur­day af­ter­noon at Car­ring­ton Way apart­ments. The event took on a pic­nic-like feel, with food, a moon bounce, mu­sic, face paint­ing, raf­fles and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We re­al­ized there are chil­dren in our com­mu­nity who are go­ing to school with­out the nec­es­sar y sup­plies,” pas­tor De­siree Fox said. “If we don’t equip them, who’s go­ing to if the par­ents can’t?”

The roughly 40 con­gre­gants of the church lo­cated in Mar­ket East Plaza so­licited con­tri­bu­tions from lo­cal busi­nesses and also col­lected money from friends and fam­ily mem­bers. They filled 312 back­packs with school sup­plies and gave out around 200 on Satur­day, with plans to dis­trib­ute the rest to other fam­i­lies later this month.

While the event is a big un­der­tak­ing, “when God is in­volved, noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble,” Fox said.

Nonny Busby, an­other pas­tor at the church, said it’s im­por­tant for the church to go out into the com­mu­nity to serve its neigh­bors.

“We need to come where they are,” Busby said.

“We need to not just tell peo­ple about God’s love, but show them,” Fox added.

Last year’s event was at Alder Creek on Cleve­land Av­enue. Fox said the church looks for the area with the great­est need and this year de­cided on Car­ring­ton Way, much to the de­light of Kim Car­nazza, prop­erty man­ager of the 168-unit sub­si­dized hous­ing com­plex on Kimberton Drive.

“What a won­der­ful turnout,” Car­nazza said. “Our kids have their back­packs.”

Mayor Polly Sierer at­tended the event and dis­trib­uted 40 shoe vouch­ers on be­half of the Ne­wark Area Wel­fare Com­mit­tee.

“I’m very grate­ful to New Heart Min­istries for putting to­gether this great com­mu­nity event,” Sierer said. “The peo­ple in this com­mu­nity very much need and ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­plies for their chil­dren.”

Mina Ro­driguez brought her 6-year-old grand­son, Juan Bul­tron, to the event and said she en­joyed spend­ing the af­ter­noon get­ting to know neigh­bors and ap­pre­ci­ated the op­por­tu­nity to pick up school sup­plies for Juan.

“Lots of neigh­bors like us are in need, so it’s a very good help,” Ro­driguez said as she watched Juan get his face painted.


Vol­un­teers from New Heart Min­istries hand out back­packs filled with school sup­plies at Car­ring­ton Way apart­ments on Satur­day.

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