This weekend will mark 21 years that retired educators Jim and Annabelle Robinson have helped local kids get ready to go back-to school.
On Saturday, July 30, the couple and their church, College Hills Church of Christ, will give away more than 800 backpacks and age-appropriate school supplies to children in the Lebanon Special School and Wilson County School systems.
Mrs. Robinson said that the church allots for the back-to-school store in their yearly budget. They also accept donations from members of the congregation and members of the community.
The back-to-school store typically gives away 800-1,200 backpacks annually. "I remember one year when the economy was bad that we were really overwhelmed (with the turnout)," she said. "But since then we have had plenty."
Robinson noted that the school systems do a good job of letting students know about the opportunity to receive free supplies through automated phone messages.
College Hills has also received a lot of support from church members. Robinson said that 280 folks had signed up to volunteer on Saturday.
"We also have a couple of Tennova employees donating their time to be interpreters for Spanish speaking students," she said.
In addition to supplies, volunteers Linda McDowell and Brenda Fulghum were busy setting up rooms full of clothing for students. Some of the uniform items were new and some were quality used apparel.
All children can receive new undergarments.
College Hills Church of Christ is located at 1401 Leeville Pike, Lebanon. The parking lot will open on Saturday at 6 a.m. Students need to be joined by a parent or guardian and encouraged to arrive early.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.