St. Andrews AME gives away shoes, school supplies to students - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

St. Andrews AME gives away shoes, school supplies to students

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Shelby County students are days away from going back to class. Organizations from across Mid-South are partnering to make sure students have the tools they need to succeed.

When the St. Andrews AME Church opened this morning for its annual back-to-school giveaway, Ibie Parker, a Soulsville seventh grader, was among the first in line. Parker and roughly 1400 other youngsters received free shoes at this year's giveaway, their 24th.

"These families that come from all over the Mid-South understand that there is not just the congregation at church on Sunday morning, but a congregation that understands that God is reaching out. Literally that God is meeting their needs, literally feeding them, clothing them, putting shoes on children's feet," said pastor Kenneth Robinson.

Durham School Services, the company that provides buses for Shelby County Schools, also pitched in and offered free backpacks filled with notebooks and other school supplies.

"The shoes are such a help," said Ibie's mother Tenikka Parker." A great help, but the school supplies as well, because I have four I have to get school supplies for."

Church members donated the money for shoes and other items. They also prayed with the recipients and offered spiritual support.

Pastor Robinson started this giveaway after a teacher told ministers that sometimes, students do not attend school because they do not have decent shoes to wear.

"I am so grateful, I just love this church," Parker said.

The giveaway also featured counselors from Porter Leath and Le Bonheur with health tips. The agency Seed-Co was also on hand with affordable care act information. The Bank on Memphis provided financial literacy advice.

At stores around the Mid-South, parents also got help from the tax-free holiday.

"We saved something," said parent Leslie Burnette. "I mean it makes a difference, every little bit counts."

Meanwhile, Ibie Parker said he is going into the seventh grade, and his new shoes and backpack will motivate him to work his hardest this year.

"I'm going to get good grades, like all As," he said.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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