WEST PORTSMOUH — Cans for Christ and Shining His Light Ministries are working in collaboration to host a ‘Back to School Bash’ on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 3 p.m., at 22326 State Route 73, West Portsmouth. There will be 1,000 back packs to be given away at the event to children for the 2016-2017 school year.
Brandon Hoyme, Cans for Christ Ministry, founder and coordinator, said the idea to host the Back to School Bash came into fruition when he happened to meet up with Shawn Spencer, founder of Shining His Light Ministries.
“I met up with Shawn Spencer, who is over Shining His Light Ministries, and he actually came down to our business, and we just began to talk and think about how can we do something with this whole school yard that we have right here. It is open, and right here on the highway,” Hoyme said. “We wanted to do something that would be open to the public, because sometimes people will come to this type of event, but will not step their feet into a church. So Shawn and I began to think about what we could do to give back to our community.”
Hoyme said he utilized the social media site, Facebook, to solicit support for the Back to School Bash endeavor.
“I got on Facebook and began asking people for back packs, pens, pencils, folders and paper to put into the back packs,” Hoyme said. “As of right now, we have 890, and we were asking for 1,000, and people still keep bringing them in. God is always faithful, and I am sure he will take care of his part, he always has when he’s called me to do something.”
Spencer said everything just started coming together as he and Hoyme talked.
“I had the opportunity to talk with Brandon one day, and he said we’ve got this big yard here, we ought to put an event on, and then everything just started coming together,” Spencer said. “We just started thinking about different ways to help the community, and came up with the idea to give out 1,000 back packs, so that’s what we decided to do.”
Spencer also said their hopes are to host the Back to School Bash annually, and make it bigger each year.
“Our outreach is mostly for the underprivileged, the people that don’t have things,” Spencer said. “We are hoping that children will come to know Jesus through it, and 1,000 back packs is a lot of back packs. When we go to pass them out we are hoping that families come from all areas, and this is going to be our first event like this, and we are hoping to do this every year. This is just the beginning. We want it to be bigger and larger, but not for us but for God’s glory. This is not about us, or our ministries. It is all about God, because without him we don’t have anything anyway.”
In addition to the back packs and school supplies give away, there will also be inflatables, a corn hole tournament will be held with a prize for the championship winner. Children who attend the event will also have the opportunity participate in a fun-filled water balloon fight fight.
Micah McCallister of Wheelersburg and Luke Keller of Lucasville will speak at the event, and Pastor Chad Benner of Coles Boulevard First Church of God in Portsmouth, will deliver the gospel message. ‘Aftermath’, a contemporary gospel band will also be lead a time of praise and worship.
Hoyme said he has received feedback from teachers regarding lack of school supplies of some of their students in time’s past.
“Gatti’s pizza will be coming, with their mobile pizza delivery truck and we will have pizza for sell, to raise money for both ministries, but the event itself is free,” Hoyme said. “We are going to have 1,000 back packs, and our goals is to get them into the hands of kids who will not get a back pack otherwise. I have talked to some teachers, and many of them said this event will be a big help, as many times when school starts they (the teachers) will have to go out and by some of their students back packs.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.