ROGERSVILLE — Providing school supplies for children in Appalachia is a growing concern of church groups from around the country and Of One Accord Ministry receives a large share for Hawkins and Hancock Counties.
During July and August, some 850 students received school supplies and through partnerships with Georgia Baptists, and another 1,000 backpacks with school supplies will be directed to Hawkins County for distribution during December.
Of One Accord Ministry has hosted mission teams for many years to do home repairs, dental and medical clinics, and block parties, but more teams are wanting now to focus on serving families with back to school supplies. Several hundred backpacks or school supplies kits have been distributed in the past few weeks just before the fall session of school began. Backpacks and School kits are made available to students in both Hawkins and Hancock Counties.
In July, Summertown Baptist Church from middle Tennessee and Agape Dental Ministry from Charlotte NC, both did block parties as part of their mission trip distributing nearly 300 backpacks.
Indian Springs Baptist Church came to Sneedville’s Shepherd’s Corner the end of July doing a Saturday distribution of 219 backpacks with school supplies. Dominion Christian School and New Grove Baptist both come and plan activities including backpack distributions.
The church of West Franklin, just out of Nashville, takes children’s names at Christmas time and returns to provide clothing and backpacks to children that were served during the Christmas season. While they are serving a smaller number of children, they ending up giving outfits of new clothing, shoes, and other accessories as well as school supplies.
Another group from Washington DC, Americans Helping Americans, provides 300 school kits to Of One Accord which the Hawkins County Leadership class distributed 100 each to Mooresburg, St. Clair and Keplar elementary schools for teachers to distribute among the students they felt were in greatest need. Americans Helping Americans offers several programs and partnerships targeted towards Children in Appalachia to serve in both counties.
Combined distributions begin to make large dents in the need in both counties providing over 2,000 students and their families help providing the types of resources to insure all students have opportunities to learn in school.
Of One Accord Ministry is thankful for the ever-growing attention directed towards its service area and the love shown to East Tennessee residents from church groups representing several state agencies.