New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is helping thousands of students start the school year on the right foot during its annual back-to-school event in August.
Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal H. Bryant and the New Birth congregation have expanded this year’s outreach to include the distribution of 3,000 brand-new shoes for school-aged students on Aug. 3
In DeKalb County, where New Birth is located, nearly 105,000 students are registered in the school district. More than 15 percent of those students come from families who live below the poverty line and 72 percent receive free or reduced lunch, officials say.
“We have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of our congregation and the community,” said Dr. Bryant. “Families have so much on their plates as they prepare their young ones to head back to school and we know the financial burden for some of those families to buy shoes and other items has become too great.”
Throughout the month of July, members of New Birth collected 3,000 brand-new pairs of shoes in various sizes to support the annual back-to-school community outreach effort. While the response has been tremendous, the congregation is still in need of small-sized, half-sized and large-sized shoes to ensure all needs are met.
“Our goal with this initiative is to alleviate some of the financial stress on families and allow students and parents to focus on the work in the classroom and minimize the threat of bullying and teasing,” said Dr. Bryant. “All too often we hear about what the church is not doing but at New Birth we want to be an example of the church making a difference in our community, addressing the needs of under-resourced and underserved communities in a practical, substantive way.”
This year’s back-to-school event, supported by corporate partners State Farm, Orthodontic Care of Georgia and Bojangles, begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. Doors open at 9 a.m. Special guests for the back-to-school event include U.S. Representative Hank Johnson, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and DeKalb County School Superintendent R. Stephen Green.
Online registration is required to participate in the Aug. 3 outreach event. To register, visit newbirth.org/events. All students must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. For more information or to make a donation, call 678-824-1008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.