The event was scheduled to start at 5 p.m., but an hour earlier there was a line already around the corner of the building at The Good Fight Church.
Hundreds of people turned out Sunday to participate in a backpack and school supply giveaway sponsored by the church located at 500 E. Main St. in Yukon.
John Phipps, the lead pastor for the church, said he was amazed at Sunday’s turnout.
“I knew there was a need. I’m always a little surprised to see, physically, when people show up. It is a little alarming to see how big of a need it is in our neighborhood and community,” Phipps said.
This is the second year the church has sponsored a backpack event. The event drew 160 people last year.
This year, the church had a goal to provide backpacks to at least 360 children. That number is based off the number of students at Phipps’ daughter’s elementary school.
The line around the church began about 4 p.m., an hour before the event was scheduled to start. And it continued to grow well past 6 p.m.
The church was offering backpacks and all the supplies that children might need. Volunteers had lists of school supplies for each school, marking off items as they were placed in a large plastic bag.
Outside, music filled the air, along with the fragrance of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.
Beneath large tents, children played games.
“We’ve got enough backpacks for 400 children and we have enough school supplies for 400 children. We have met the goal we want,” he said Sunday.
All of the supplies were donated, whether through donated cash or donated supplies.
The church also brought in some community service agencies.
Phipps said that was a way of serving the community as a whole, pointing out that if they need help with school supplies, they may also need help in other areas of their lives as well.
Phipps said the event will return next year.
“Last year, we were testing the water. We had heard there was a need. This year, we knew there was a need, so we put more effort into it so the event would be excellent. We’re going to serve others with excellence, that’s a core value for us. Next year, we’re going to aim higher,” he said.