MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As students prepare to go back to school, many families face the financial burden of getting their children back in the classroom.
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church will work with local partners Saturday to provide school supplies and free services to children to help them have a successful school year.
The annual Back to School and Community Health Fair will offer hearing and dental screenings, on-site registration for Shelby County schools, pre-K screenings, required immunizations, and more.
Children who visit three vendors or receive on-site services will be eligible to receive one of 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. These will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
The senior pastor of the church hopes the community will work together to support local students.
"It is shocking when you hear the number of children who lack the basic necessities for the first day of school," Pastor J. Lawrence Turner said. "We as a community must unite to fill this gap."
Over the past 16 years, the health fair has grown tremendously. Organizers were forced to move the event to a facility that could accommodate such a large turnout, and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church seemed like a perfect fit.
"We were searching for a permanent place to call home and The Boulevard shared our desire to support our local community," event organizer Harold Collins said.
Shelby County Health Department asks that parents hoping to take advantage of the immunizations offered at the fair bring their child's most recent shot record.
The event is free and open to the public. It will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on July 29 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.