As the new school year approaches and parents and guardians prepare their children to return to the classroom, Calvary Temple Assembly of God is hoping to lighten the financial load by meeting some of the needs of the less fortunate in the Grand Bahama community.
President of the Grand Bahama Christian Council Rev. Robert Lockhart, Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple on Wednesday, August 7, stated that every year the church hosts a ‘Back to School’ Sunday Service, where they give out books, pens, pencils and backpacks to children in the community; however, this year they decided to do something different.
Rev. Lockhart furthered that upon having a discussion with various school teachers and administrators, he discovered that the aforementioned supplies were not addressing some of the real needs of local students.
“They are so overwhelmed with books, pencils, pens and backpacks … some kids’ parents cannot afford the workbooks or textbooks that they need for school; some children are out of school for three to four weeks, because their parents cannot afford to buy the uniforms. Some children only have one uniform shirt or pants for the year,” he said.
Rev. Lockhart added that some students also do not have the proper underwear or toiletries to take care of their personal hygiene and at least two to four students to a class could fall into this category.
“So, after speaking with the teachers, we said let’s try and meet some of these needs,” he said.
He explained that donations can include monetary contributions, clothing items such as uniforms in good condition, socks, underwear, undershirts, and toiletries – soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and cologne.
Rev. Lockhart informed that the initiative will be going on for the entire month of August and will end on the church’s customary Back to School Sunday Service on September 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. The service will be held on the church grounds, where children will receive the items that have been donated.
He revealed that a barber will also be there to provide free haircuts.
Rev. Lockhart expressed that in these tough economic times, it is important for residents to assist one another whenever they can.
“Just how you go to the store to buy something for your child, buy something a little extra to help a child in need,” he urged.
Rev. Lockhart furthered that persons can also ask their own children to identify friends or classmates who are less fortunate, so that they can help them.
He recalled a young church member asking his parents to use his allowance to buy some uniform items to give a classmate, because he was being teased due to his appearance.
“He took his allowance and he bought two shirts and two pants for his classmate,” he said.
Rev. Lockhart noted that parents and guardians should encourage their children to be kind to others in need, instead of ridiculing them. “That’s how we can teach the younger generation to be sympathetic.”
Although this initiative ends as the new school year begins, Calvary Temple’s charitable school-based efforts will continue throughout the academic year.
Rev. Lockhart revealed that the church has adopted the Jack Hayward Junior High School and they donate funds towards their Feeding Programme every month.
“They have kids that come to school hungry and don’t have any breakfast or lunch, and that is something that we do year-round,” he added.
Rev. Lockhart finally took the opportunity to make an appeal to the general public. “Be of help to somebody.”
For further information, persons can contact the church’s office at 352-7340, particularly regarding cash donations.