Church helps prepare kids for start of school - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church helps prepare kids for start of school

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Esperanza Valdespino is about to send her two kids back to school. But, she says times are tough and buying school supplies is at the bottom of her list. "Its hard because you want to get your children the best things but you have to cut back a lot and that's how it has affected us back in the day we could go back to school shopping and come back with a bunch of bags and your know everyone is happy but right now we have to cut back on a lot of things."

Today Esperanza along with several other parents were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the St James Missionary Baptist church gave out school supplies to kick off the new year. The gesture was part of the church's third annual back to school bash and kids not only got to have fun, but they were also given hair cuts and lessons on success.

"I understand what it means to be a kid who goes without I understand how it feels to be picked on and picked at I also understand how vital it is to try to sell yourself on that first day so it would be my preference to give a haircut rather than a kid to go to school without one," said local barber Helen Young.

"I know many people are going through hard economic times and I believe it is our job as a church and as a community to be able to help those in need whether through hair cuts or hair dos or school supplies some parents are out of work and don't have the money to get school supplies I believe that's the churches responsibility," said Pastor Lawrence Knighton.

"Its answered my prayers just when you think oh I'm gonna need some help buying school supplies it was great for my church pastor Lawrence Knighton has been a good inspiration and he's done a lot things here in this community," said Esperanza.

Event organizers say they are thankful to have given out school supplies to more than 122 students in need. Some the items were brought in by community members, others were donated by Wal-mart.

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