Connection Church's Big Give Event gets bigger
Connection Church's first ever Big Give Event last summer turned out to be bigger than expected.
Organizers want this year's installment to be even bigger.
"Generosity is what we have to do because we've been given so much we just have to give back," said Connection Church lead pastor Scott Newton. "We can't sit back and take it easy and be about ourselves. We have to give back to the community."
Connection Church, based in Wallburg with close to 400 members, held its inaugural Big Give Event last August in an effort to help families in need get ready for the upcoming school year. Thousands of people from across the Triad turned out for free backpacks filled with school supplies, clothes, toys, baby products and food.
Brent McDowell, a church member and Thomasville police officer who recently was honored with a life-saving award for helping to revive a 4-month-old baby, came up with the give away idea as a way to reach out to families who are struggling.
"I think right now, we know the need is out there," McDowell said. "It's just amazing to know the need isn't just here in Wallburg but surrounding communities like Thomasville, Lexington, High Point. We're just pushing to get as much as can. We want the community to be a part of this."
This year's event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Ledford High School. McDowell expects the turnout to be even larger this year and he wants to ensure there is plenty of stuff to go around.
"We are seeking more donations to get more community involvement, whether it's individual homes or businesses," said McDowell. "We would love for them to be a part of this with us and enjoy the celebration on Aug. 17th. People can go through their closet and bring us whatever they think we can use. If kids have toys laying around the house they want to get rid of, we'll take them."
Organizers are collecting items at two large trailers on Motsinger Road less than half a mile past Wallburg Elementary School from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays.
"We're pushing for more book bags," McDowell said. "Last year we gave away around 700 book bags. This year we want to get it up around the 4,000 mark. We're also looking to give away 25,000 canned goods."
More than a dozen stylists will be on hand to give free haircuts.
"We obviously know times are tough and we have been so blessed," said Newton. "For our church, it's not an option, we have to give back. That's what [McDowell] wanted to do and he brought the dream to us. We have so many phenomenal people in this church and in this community. We all pulled together and made this happen. Last year we had close to 2,000 people show up . This year we want to get up to maybe 5,000 people."
For more information on The Big Give Event, call Newton at 883-0142.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.