Local ministry hands out free school supplies in Waco

Posted at 9:11 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-23 11:50:34-04

Some Central Texas families gathered at a local park in Waco today for a back-to-school giveaway.

The Christian service group Outreach Ministries held its first ever backpacking giveaway. Director, Fransisco Gutierrez said the organization's goal is to go outside the four walls of the church to impact the community directly.

"Our expectation is to give. The same way we give to the adults that are homeless we give to the children and the families,” Guttierez said.

Fransisco and his wife Nancy said that for the past two years their ministry's focus has been the homeless. However, they said this month is geared toward providing aid to children in need. With the help of volunteers and other churches, more than 150 backpacks stuffed with paper pens and pencils were given out. 

"We live in tough times. A lot of parents don't have the money to provide,” Nancy Gutierrez said. “And my goal in doing this is to have the children going back to school with the items that they need."

Although the public-school year doesn't start until next month, one parent is already making sure her kids have what they need. Nellie Rodriquez, a mother of six from Lacy-Lakeview, said she found out about the school supplies hand out through Facebook.

"I was just kind of scrolling I mean we weren't really going to do anything today cause it's so hot outside,” Rodriquez said. “But I saw someone post it and I thought this is a good opportunity for us to get out of the house, but also for us to get some help to get school supplies to get the kids started."

Both Rodriquez and the people of Outreach Ministries said the giveaway is more than just an event, but an opportunity to put underprivileged kids on an equal level with their classmates.

"They need to feel like they belong…that they have what the other kid has. And a lot of times single parents can't do it. Nancy Guttierez said. “Give them a little hand. We don't need to know the cause or circumstances they're going through…the problems. Only God knows, but he blesses us so we can bless somebody else and to me that's the biggest smile in the world."

That’s something even volunteer Joey Palomin recognizes. He is a pastor and musician from the New Life Church in Groesbeck. He said he spent his day playing games with the children and handing out school supplies because he cares about helping the youth.

“We’re all humans and we all need help,” Palomin said.

Outreach Ministries meets every other Saturday at Cotton Palace Park to worship and help feed the homeless. For more information, you can contact the Outreach Ministries Director Fransisco Gutierrez at (254) 749-2556.

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