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Communities rally behind children

July 23, 2012
The Herald-Star

The communities of the Tri-State Area have long taken care of their own, always stepping up in times of need to make a difference.

Toronto and Mingo Junction are two of those communities that always rise to the occasion, never leaving anyone out.

Most recently, the Gem City's Methodist Ladies organization at Riverview United Methodist Church has stepped up to answer the call for those struggling through some rough times.

The group once again is sponsoring its popular back to school backpack and school supplies project. It's the fourth year for this project, and new interest is being generated throughout the community.

Last year, not only the Riverview congregation donated, but several community organizations sent checks. This year, the women of the Toronto First Presbyterian Church have expressed an interest in helping with the project, and Riverview is pleased to have the assistance.

It takes approximately $20 to purchase a backpack and fill it with school supplies for one child. There are many children in the Toronto City School District who need assistance with school supplies, and this is a great way to lend a hand, the organizers said. Last year, 77 bags were purchased and filled with required school supplies for pupils in grades kindergarten through 12th.

The popular program now will be augmented with a back-to-school event set from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Riverview United Methodist Church, 105 N. River Ave.

The free event will include the distribution of backpacks and school supplies - first-come, first-served - as well as games, food, beverages, entertainment, including a magician, and all under cover.

In Mingo Junction, officials with the village's social services will offer school supplies, backpacks and food items during a distribution set for Aug. 15 at the Municipal Building.

The Wal-Mart Distribution Center will be donating food items, Huntington Bank will provide backpacks and Harmony Methodist Church, St. Agnes Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church and First United Methodist Church will be donating food items and school supplies. It is open to village families with children, as well as families from Brilliant and Georges Run.

In the past, these types of back-to-school supplies events have been very successful in the Indian Creek Local and Steubenville City school districts, as well.

The idea is to give back to these communities, say organizers, and these events will most certainly do that.

We commend the Methodist Ladies organization as well as the women of the Toronto First Presbyterian Church, as well as Mingo Junction Social Services and its many supporters who have pledged to get behind the backpack projects. We are very impressed with the dedication and caring shown toward members of the community who may be struggling to supply their children with school supplies.

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