It’s back-to-school week for students across Northeast Georgia and in Habersham, local churches are pitching in to help families prepare. From offering free school supplies and haircuts to providing a final blast of summertime fun, the faith community has stepped up with some much-needed help in these tough economic times.
Habersham County Schools Guidance Counselor Coordinator Robert Moffett has been making the rounds, gathering up donated school supplies from area businesses and churches.
Moffett was at Revive Church in Cornelia on Monday to receive 60 donated book bags full of supplies.
“We have been very hurt. Farm Bureau, Walmart, other people have donated book bags, like Revive Church here. We now have over 270 bookbags already prepared to hand out. They will go to students and children who do not have anything,” Moffett tells Now Habersham.
That will be a welcome relief for families struggling under the weight of inflation. In June, consumer prices jumped 9.1% year-over-year. And while July’s Consumer Price Index is not yet out, all it takes is a trip to the store to realize how much pricier it’s gotten to send children to school.
“Today, with the economy the way it is, it’s getting harder and harder to buy – and more expensive to buy – school supplies,” says Moffett.
The shared economic pain has led to an abundance of giving by some local churches, eager to ease the burden on parents and give students a fresh start. Over the weekend, hundreds of Habersham County families benefited from three back-to-school bashes hosted by area churches.
Free haircuts and supplies
Cornelia United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Cornelia sit adjacent to one another on Wyly Street in Cornelia. They may be affiliated with different denominations but both share a common heart for community giving.
The churches teamed up Sunday to host a Back-to-School Block Party for students in Habersham County. Working together, they provided free haircuts, free hygiene bags and school supplies, and hosted an afternoon of end-of-summertime fun for the students and their families.
“I thought it was a successful event,” says FBC Cornelia Communications Ministry Assistant Becky Hughes.
Farther north, near Clarkesville, Hollywood Baptist Church hosted its second annual “Hollywood Cares” event. The church provided free haircuts and school supplies as well as free meals to families that attended. Pastor Chuck Johnson says it was a huge success.
“We were able to bless 73 families each with a bag full of school supplies. [There were] lots of snow cones and hotdogs served, with haircuts going the entire two hours.”
Shear Perfection Salon in Cornelia and Zee’s Hair Bar in Toccoa were among the area businesses that volunteered their time and services.
Still time to donate
With schools opening in just a few days – the first day in Habersham County is August 5 – Moffett says the giving doesn’t end here.
“Not only did we pack about 270 book bags, but we have extra supplies that have been delivered to each school so they have a surplus to be able to hand out when a student needs something,” he says. “It’s a wonderful giving of the community that has brought together an opportunity to give back to the kids.”
If you would like to donate school supplies to support Habersham County students, contact Rob Moffett through the Habersham County School District’s central office at (706) 754-2118.