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Reported by Jeanne Hechler. Photos by Susan Brown.

For more than 20 years, First Baptist Church has delivered backpacks to Oregon Hill Baptist Center (OHBC) for the children they serve. According to Rev. Jennifer Turner, Director, OHBC, FBC provides almost all the backpacks for their back-to-school event.

Youth from the OHBC youth program volunteer to help set up the backpack store with the donated supplies. Families who participate in the OHBC ministry programs are eligible to “purchase” school supplies at the store for their children, paying $2 per child. The money collected goes to help fund the OHBC family programs throughout the year. Volunteers help parents select backpacks and school supplies for each child, using the City of Richmond required-school-supplies list for each grade. Approximately 100 students are helped each year.

Jennifer makes sure nothing is wasted. Any extra backpacks and materials are donated to other Baptist centers that don’t have enough to serve their clients, are used by OHBC for other programs throughout the year, or are given to St. Andrews School, a private, tuition-free school for Oregon Hill children. Some of the more sturdy backpacks may be given to the homeless who attend OHBC programs.

FBC members donated one hundred and fifteen filled backpacks and 15 large bags of additional school supplies, helping students in the city of Richmond make a good start to the 2015 school year.

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