Church to help thousands with back to school supplies - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Church to help thousands with back to school supplies

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB-TV) -- Sending your children back to school is not cheap anymore.  That's why an annual back to school giveaway continues to grow. 

First Gethsemane Center for Family Development, in the Algonquin area, is getting ready for its big back to school giveaway. Last year, more than 2,000 people showed up, and the line stretched from the front door down the block.  On Saturday, they're expecting to double that number.

"We're taking care of anyone that's in need. Last year we had 2,100 people show up for our back to school giveaway," says Rev. Keith Bush, the executive director of First Gethsemane. 

Rev. Bush says they're expecting to more than double that number Saturday.

"Our target is 5,000. That's what we're preparing for.  Based on Park Hill, Park Duvalle, Arcadia, and Algonquin, the need is really tremendous."

And one indicator of the widespread need is the free and reduced lunch program, which is at nearly 90% at schools like Indian Trail Elementary.

"Our free lunch numbers keep going up and up every year. And that's a true indicator of poverty," says Krista Campisano, the family resource center coordinator at Indian Trail Elementary School.

Campisano says back to school giveaways are lifesavers for some families.

"When you look at a school supplies list these days, you need pencils, paper, notebooks, folders, calculators, and all that stuff tends to add up. It can be $150 to $200 a person."

And so can other necessities.  That's why First Gethsemane is not stopping with the school supplies.

Rev. Bush says, "Also, what we've incorporated in our healthcare back to school day are free haircuts, free IDs, manicures and then also the health fair."

The back to school giveaway starts Saturday at noon and goes until 4 o'clock.

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