News & Updates

Giving Students the Best Start Possible

Backpacks filled with school supplies are still available at the two GraceWorks locations after recent community-sponsored events provided these vital tools for school success.

A total of 1530 backpacks were distributed at Big Backpack Giveaways in Franklin, Fairview and Bethesda. Three hundred more were given to churches and other groups for distribution in College Grove, Nolensville, Spring Hill, Franklin Special School District and other organizations. About 2400 backpacks had been prepared for the events.

Families who could not make the Saturday events can still receive backpacks at GraceWorks in Franklin and GraceWorks West in Fairview.

One single mother of five was desperate enough to obtain school supplies that she chanced coming late to the Giveaway at Franklin’s Liberty Elementary.

Marie (not her real name) was nervous and apologetic, but determined, as she tracked down Luis Sura, who was just stowing leftover backpacks in a truck to take to GraceWorks.

“She asked me if we were out of backpacks,” said Sura, GraceWorks Neighbor Services Program Assistant. “She said she knew she was late, and she was afraid because she hadn’t signed in that she wouldn’t be allowed to get backpacks for her kids.”

Sura told her leftover backpacks would be available the following week at GraceWorks. But she said she lives in a far part of Williamson County and getting back to Franklin would be difficult.

Neighbor serving Neighbor is GraceWorks’ new mission statement that exemplifies what happens here every day. Sura realized asking Marie to make another effort to provide her five children with the tools they need for school would only increase her burdens.

“I knew she would have to spend more money for gas and to have to spend a lot of time to come back, so I went ahead and gave her the backpacks,” Sura said.

The 15th annual Giveaway was a joint project of local churches, community organizations and individuals to provide students in need the best possible start to the school year. Organizers included GraceWorks, Publix and United Way of Williamson County.

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