BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Children made a splash at First United Methodist Church in Biloxi at their annual Back to School Bash on Saturday.
"It's awesome. They're giving out school supplies. The kids are having fun," said Tina Branaman.
Along with the water slides, games and face painting, event organizers added a theme of safety. The Biloxi Police Department was there to finger print the children and the Ocean Springs Fire Department brought its fire safety trailer, all to benefit the community.
"We're a church filled with love, and we love our community," said Pam Taylor, who helped organize the event.
Another big hit was the free school supplies, donated by members of the church.
"In the times that we're having right now, with money being tight, we feel like it's our way of being able to give back to the families," said Taylor.
To advertise the bash, organizers say they handed out flyers at local schools and low income neighborhoods in North Biloxi.
"I had neighbors that stayed in the area I stayed in and they invited me. I actually brought five of them today," said Kendra Smith.
Smith says her children don't get many chances to get out of the house and have fun, so this was well worth it.
"They did need more school supplies, and I wasn't able to get it at the time, so it helped out a lot and everybody is nice and generous out here," said Smith.
The church's pastor says bringing the community together and lending a helping hand is what this is all about.
"We exist for the community, not just for ourselves. I hope they feel that and understand that as they come," said the Rev. Tony Pounders.
Church members say they host outreach events year round, and the community is always welcome.