Denise Domascieno was looking over school supplies for her 5-year-old granddaughter, Caraline Prezgay, whom she has custody of, when she remembered SixFourteen Church in Masury was having a school supply giveaway on Aug. 22.
“I thought I’d come here and see what we get here first,” she said.
Domascieno, of Masury, had had a hip replacement about a month before and hadn’t been able to work. Anything that lightened the financial load was a help, she said.
“I think it’s neat,” she said of the giveaway. It also was held responsibly, considering the gathering limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. “We got to wait in line in our car instead of going inside with all these people.”
It was a drive-up giveaway. Backpacks already were stuffed with items such as pencils, notebooks, glue sticks, folders and pencil pouches, and church members handed the backpacks to families as they drove past. Free face masks also were handed out.
Families could then park in 614’s lot and get a free shaved ice treat from Kona Ice.
“I thought it was nice,” said Marybeth Willard of Masury, who brought her sons Maxwell, 6, and Masen, 9.
“It was nice to have something for the kids,” she said. “They’ve been looking forward to this ever since they heard about it.”
Willard said her family had just moved back to the area, and she was thankful for the school supplies.
“It’s been a struggle,” she said of her financial situation during the pandemic.
In past years, SixFourteen has held back-to-school parties in the church, with activities in addition to school supply giveaways. The drive-up format was a concession to the new reality.
“We always do this, and we wanted to make sure we still do it,” said Pastor Jared Woodward.
Church members donated money and items, and 100 backpacks were ready for distribution. He added that anyone who could not make the giveaway can call the church if they still need school supplies.
“We wanted to make it as simple as possible and help people get what they need,” Woodward said.