Tulsa Mission Helping Kids Go Back To School In Style

Saturday, August 19th 2006, 6:55 pm
By: News On 6

It's the last weekend of summer break for Tulsa public school students. They're gearing up for classes on Monday.

News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage found folks who are making sure hundreds head back in style.

Pastor Rich Blackburn is manning the grill and the junior high and high school youth group from John 3:16 is serving up the grub. Around the corner, the line is backing up, with families, some here before sunup, hoping to go home with new school wardrobes.

Steven Whitaker: "We had people here at 6:30 this morning from other counties so it's been quite a response, and it does speak to the need. It's great here in our community, people struggling to just make it, not to mention the expense it takes to get back to school."

Inside, it's like Christmas in the middle of summer, families lugging sacks of loot over their shoulders. Inside, piles of jeans and khakis are stacked up for students. Heading back to school has 12-year-old Justin flipping. His mother Mishka says back to school shopping is a challenge.

Mishka: "It's really hard for me because I don't have any money right now. I'm not working."

The folks at John 3:16 say it's all about starting the school year off right. If they can send kids back to class with one last day of vacation, a full belly and new clothes, they hope that positive start will carry them through the rest of the year.

Rev Rich Blackburn: "Any time you can start a kid without having to worry what their clothes look like, it's a great thing."

Families at John 3:16 took their pick from gently used shirts and shoes and $20,000 worth of new jeans and khakis. They estimate they helped more than a thousand families Saturday.