St. Paul Lutheran Church hosts back-to-school giveaway

Pastor Shaw: “Finding ways to show God’s love to our community energizes us.”

St. Paul Lutheran Church is holding a back-to-school giveaway where kids can get haircuts, clothes, and supplies for the first day of school.

St. Paul Lutheran Church is holding a back-to-school giveaway where kids can get haircuts, clothes, and supplies for the first day of school.

Courtesy of St. Paul Lutheran Church

REED CITY — It's that time of year again.

St. Paul Lutheran Church is holding a community back-to-school giveaway event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

Students from pre-K to grade 12 can gather at the church to get a haircut from a professional barber, all the school supplies they need to start the year, and fresh clothes for the first day of school, as well as backpacks and other essentials.

Pastor Kara Shaw said her husband came up with the idea for the event after seeing kids unable to get haircuts for the first day of school due to financial reasons. 

Knowing the importance of "looking nice and being put together that first day of school," and wanting to bring kids an "emotional uplift" through haircuts, the men's group at the church talked to barbers and cosmetology schools to put on this event.

Shaw knows how important it is for kids to look nice on the first day of school.

"What about the first day of school? That first day of school feeling," Shaw said.

"We have school supplies, and a list from the elementary school so the students have everything they need to start the year off right. We’re also partnering with the United Methodist Church and having the coat closet, where people can get coats or gloves because it gets cold here quickly," Shaw said.

Another member of the congregation, Steven Stange, who is a former teacher from the Evart area, said, "If one kid comes to this, and goes to school and doesn't cause a fuss in the teachers classroom, or finds that someone values him enough to take that little push in his life to make it better, than we have done more than we set out to do.

“We’re excited and joyful to be able to put into action some of our prayers. We prayed at the low income housing projects and it was one of those 'aha' moments, where we said, we need to bring them posters about our giveaway, because how would they know?” Shaw said.

“They’re all welcome, we hope they come. This is just part of who we are as a congregation. Everybody’s welcome, not in the typical, churchy 'everybody’s welcome', but that everybody has value, and we hope the kids get that out of this," Shaw said.