Blessing Bags answer school supply prayers

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – The back to school list keeps growing, and when money's tight it's not always easy to get supplies.

"At times some children come in and they don't have their supplies and they don't have everything that they need and they're not ready to go the first day," said Bayou View Elementary Teacher Cindy Langenbacker.

Trinity United Methodist church teamed up with seven other Gulfport churches and a few sponsors to help change that with an interfaith school supply drive.

"It's allowed members to do outreach and to be a ministry not only to the schools and the students but also to the teachers who so often have given up their own money and reached deep in their pockets to provide these kind of supplies to the students," said Trinity United Methodist Church Associate Pastor Kevin Bradley.

"With the economy like it is these days it's hard to stretch that dollar, so everything is very welcomed," said Langenbacker.

More than 400 bags full of needed supplies like pens and paper will be delivered by church volunteers, to Gulfport teachers over the next few days.

"When they came in with the bags, two bags in their arms and they said, 'This is for you.' I felt like Santa Clause was visiting my room," said Langenbacker who received her supplies Thursday.

While it's certainly not Christmas for the kids, volunteers say they just hope to make the first day of school a little brighter.

Among the churches that participated are First Baptist Gulfport, First Methodist Gulfport, First Missionary Baptist, Little Rock Baptist, Mississippi City UMC, Mt. Pleasant UMC, and Westminster Presbyterian.

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