August 20, 2013
By Joe Grove
Eastridge Church hosts food bank backpack handouts
Eastridge Church is hosting a community festival Aug. 24 where, in partnership with the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, school children in need will be given backpacks filled with basic school supplies.
The festivities and fun begins at 10 a.m. at the church, 24205 SE Issaquah Fall city Rd, with outdoor activities that include inflatables, face painting and science shows by Eastridge children’s pastor Dan Metteer.
Heather Retzlaff, executive assistant to the lead pastor, said they hope there will also be a fire truck with firefighters and a police car with a police officer on hand to meet with kids.
Along with the outdoor activities, a health fair will be going on in the church atrium. The fair will feature local organizations that offer resources for area families. There will be free dental screenings and free haircuts.
“The drive of the whole event,” Retzlaff said, “is about the backpacks. We are working with the food bank to do registrations for anyone who lives in the Issaquah School District.”
Those in need of backpacks are asked to register. They can do so on either the Eastridge Church or food bank websites. They can also register at the church when they come to the festival. Retzlaff said there will be some backpacks available for those who did not get registered, but the numbered is limited.
Those receiving backpacks do not have to demonstrate need in any way. They should let their conscience be their guide, Retzlaff said, but it is possible someone taking a backpack when there is no need could be depriving a child who really needs one.
Cori Walters, executive director at the food bank, said the organization is actively developing partners for its Tools4Schools program that eliminate duplications of the same program.
“We know that together we can build a bigger, stronger program by monopolizing on our individual strengths and resources,” Walters said. “This type of community collaboration also simplifies our communications with donors.”
Walters said the backpacks will contain basic school supplies such as markers, notebook paper, crayons and glue.
“When we have a common voice with particular programs, we can offer a more clear picture of our goals and our community,” Walters said. “That goal for the Tools4Schools backpack program is to get the appropriate supplies to the kids who need it in the Issaquah School District.”
She said she thanks all donors and partner agencies who help make the event happen and encourages any of those in need of supplies to register.
Admission to the festival is free and activities are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as supplies last. There will be one backpack given per child in grades one through 12.
On the Web
If you live in the Issaquah School District, register for backpacks at www.eastridgetoday.com or http://issaquahfoodbank.org. You can also register at the church if you attend the giveaway.