Two back-to-school events in downtown Powder Springs on July 31

flyers for the two back-to-school bashes described in the text of the articleFlyers provided by the City of Powder Springs

There will be two back-to-school events in downtown Powder Springs on July 31.

The first is the Powder Springs Community Taskforce’s 20th-annual “Back2School Bash,” at Powder Springs First United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. until noon.

The second is the “Back 2 School Bash” sponsored by First Baptist Church of Powder Springs and Linked UP Church, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Both events include giveaways of school supplies that kids will need to have a successful school year.

For more detail information, and links to register, see the press release from the City of Powder Springs we’ve reprinted below.

POWDER SPRINGS — On July 31, a long-running Powder Springs-based collaborative will hold its 20th-annual school supply giveaway while a local faith-based partnership will put on an event to equip students and prepare them for the start of school. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend both, which are occurring just blocks away from one another in downtown Powder Springs.

Starting first that morning is the Powder Springs Community Taskforce’s 20th-annual “Back2School Bash,” which will run from 10 a.m. to noon at Powder Springs First United Methodist Church, 4329 Marietta St. It will be a drive-thru event to promote Covid-19 safety.

Five hundred backpacks — 200 geared for elementary students, 200 for middle-schoolers and 100 for high-schoolers — are expected to be distributed during the drive-thru event, said Deborah Douglin, Powder Springs Community Taskforce Vice-Chair and Back2School Bash Chair.

“We had our pulse on the community and knew the need as we worked in the community all year long,” Douglin said of the Bash’s start two decades ago, adding that the Taskforce had existed prior to the annual event’s start and has had other endeavors focused local schools, such as a a long-running mentorship program for boys at Tapp Middle School that later expanded to include both girls and boys.

“Due to those relationships that we had, with McEachern High School, Tapp Middle School, Varner (Elementary), Compton (Elementary), Powder Springs Elementary, we knew from the parents, from the parent liaisons, (that) there was a need of supplying these kids, children showing up to school without the school supplies, backpacks, the other things that they needed,” Douglin added. “There was a strong need for help and support for all the kids in need, and we were not going to turn our backs on them.”

In addition to backpacks, a long-time sponsor Cobb & Douglas Public Health will be on site administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available to individuals 12 and older. Additionally, HIV prevention information and free HIV testing and take-home kits will be available during the drive-thru event.

SECOND ‘BASH’ AT THURMAN SPRINGS PARK

Running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Thurman Springs Park on the same day is the “Back 2 School Bash” sponsored by First Baptist Church of Powder Springs and Linked UP Church.

While also providing school supplies to families, the free event will feature other giveaways and informational workshops, while children can enjoy bounce houses, games and other fun activities. Also on site will be providers of vision, dental and hearing screenings, along with prayer tents. The only cost to attendees will be if they choose to purchase any wares from food trucks set up around the park.

“We have four pillars, and they are all about connecting to God, Family, Purpose and Community. Since Community is one of the visions our pastor Joel Gregory has put in place, it’s something that we really seek after, to tie into the community and see how we can help them by any means necessary,” said Nehemiah Ray, Youth and Young Adult Director of the non-denominational Linked UP Church. 

Of his church’s partnership with First Baptist Church of Powder Springs, Ray said, “God’s kingdom is all about inclusiveness when it comes to people, especially His people, and so we partnered with them to connect with the community but overall to bless the Powder Springs community.”

Joel Lanier, Minister of Modern Worship at First Baptist Church of Powder Springs, says both churches have a heart to partner with others in the area to make a difference in the Powder Springs community.

“We actually have done a Back to School event for over a decade. Our leadership turned over during COVID-19 and the event was in a bit of a holding pattern on our end,” Lanier said. “Nehemiah just happened to inquire about using our parking lot for the event due to our proximity to (Thurman Springs Park’s Hardy Family Automotive) Amphitheater, and when we found out about what they were planning we jumped at the chance to partner with them to pull it off.”

With a goal to have 1,000 attendees at their event, those running the Bash at Thurman Springs Park says there will still be plenty for folks to do even if all the school supplies are distributed. Sign-ups prior to the event are encouraged though walk-ups will be accepted.

And with both community events commencing the morning of July 31, families are encouraged to attend both. Roger Vest, lead pastor at Powder Springs First United Methodist Church, calls the day’s happenings a “double blessing.”

“We’ve got two wonderful events going on this year,” Vest said. “We know it’s been a rough year for a lot of people — here’s an opportunity to get a little help from your community.”

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Sign-ups for the Powder Springs Community Taskforce’s and PSFUMC’s “Back2School Bash” can be made by visiting https://bit.ly/3g4LHZS. Supplies are limited, and pre-registered individuals will receive their backpacks from 10 to 11 a.m. while open registration will be from 11 a.m. to noon.

To sign up for the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Back 2 School Bash” at Thurman Springs Park put on by First Baptist Church of Powder Springs and Linked UP Church, visit 

https://bit.ly/backtoschoolbash21 or text “SCHOOL” to 833-988-2009.

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