Pauls Valley Democrat
Quickly becoming a staple of the back-to-school diet of Pauls Valley area kids and their parents is a local church’s helping hand each year.
For the fourth straight year Higher Ground Church is getting families ready for another year in the classroom with its Backpack and Burrito Day.
This year’s event is set for Saturday, Aug. 3 at the church located just west of Interstate 35 near state Highway 19.
The idea is again to get area children ready for the start of another school year next month with backpacks filled with school supplies for kids pre-kindergarten all the way up through the 12th grade.
Again tossed in for good measure is a burrito meal, along with a few other things like a “vacation Bible experience.”
“What it’s about is we give away school supplies and a backpack and a lunch to children in the Garvin County area,” said Andy Davidson, an associate pastor at the church.
“It’s kind of a neat deal to see these kids and parents coming through for this,” he said.
“It kind of reminds me of Trick-or-Treating. The kids get their backpacks and go along filling them up with school supplies.”
A total of 250 backpacks will again be filled with school supplies to go along with the meal, Davidson said.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. as the event itself officially gets underway an hour later.
“Kids just line up in the parking lot waiting for this to start,” Davidson said. “We’ll try to entertain them while they wait.
“Last year was the first time we gave away all the backpacks. Before that we always had a few left over. I fully anticipate we’ll give them all away this year.”
The idea behind the local Backpack and Burrito Day started a few years ago when some members of Higher Ground Church were involved in helping out with a much larger church function in Oklahoma City.
A decision was made to establish a local event on a smaller scale where the church here could help Garvin County kids with school supplies and a backpack.
Their intention then and now is to get area kids ready for school.
According to Davidson, burritos just came into the picture as church members thought children showing up for the event should get something to eat.
Since getting started the event has continued to get bigger with more people involved.
“We have tons of volunteers from the church,” Davidson said. “As more people start to know about this the more that want to get involved.
“This is the fourth year we’ve done this. It’s a work in progress, and it’s getting bigger every year.”
Davidson gives plenty of credit to places like Taco Mayo, which is actively involved in the event, Walmart for its $1,000 donation and the No Name Ranch near Wynnewood, which provides the beef for the burritos.
Along with the school stuff there will also be free haircuts for the kids.