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Backpacks, supplies distributed

More than 500 backpacks were given away at a communitywide backpack drive sponsored by Bethany Baptist Church and others Saturday.

Church members, along with community members, rallied to collect enough basic school supplies to fill some 600 backpacks for Covington County school children. The backpacks were given away at the PowerPlant Market Place Saturday afternoon.

Organizer Myra Maddox said she had about 70 left, but plans to give away the rest today.

Maddox said the overall giveaway was amazing.

“It was awesome,” she said. “There’s no other way to explain it.”

Maddox said that when some people walked in the looked “like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders,” but after they came in and received their children’s backpacks and a little bit of prayer, they walked out with smiles on their faces.

Church members said previously they hoped to make the event an annual event to “supply our students for success.”

Church members started with a goal of 300 backpacks, but quickly grew to 600 with the help of local businesses.

“Without local businesses, CrossWay Ministries and the community, Bethany Baptist could have never done this alone,” said Ashley Tyson of Bethany Baptist Church. “All of our efforts combined made this project a huge success.”

Church pastor Josh Wilson said he hoped the event would be “a physical sharing of Jesus’ love.”

“We can say we love Jesus all day long, but we need to show people.”