Summer Jubilee to hand out school supplies
August 28, 2008 · Updated 8:47 AM
MARYSVILLE Local churches are banding together Aug. 12 for the annual back to school classic that draws thousands of people to Asbery Field.
The Summer Jubilee started nine years ago when two women started handing out school supplies in a church basement. Over the years the event has grown into a day-long carnival with free food, hair cuts and entertainment. Theres cotton candy, hot dogs and the usual festival fare, but according to organizer Judi Johnston, the 15 churches are handing out the greatest gift of all: love.
A member of Marysvilles Turning Point Church, Johnston said the idea was born in the hearts of senior pastors Mike and Cyndi Villamor. Getting kids ready to go back to the classroom after each summer can be a real chore, and so that first year they wanted to help local families. They handed out 50 sets of school supplies that year. Last year a coalition of churches dispensed more than 4,600 and hosted more than 10,000 people at the field next to Marysville Junior High School.
We love Marysville; we feel very fortunate to be in Marysville, Johnston said. We see Gods love, he showers it upon us. Its right for the church to love others and this is a good way for us to do it. And on a practical matter it helps others.
The kids walk away with a backpack filled with spiral notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons and markers, whatever is appropriate for their age and grade level. They can also get a hair cut from several of the barbers volunteering their services.
Its not just a chore though, Johnston points out. There are 16 bouncy houses for kids to play in and a free barbecue, sno-cones, and cotton candy too. There were body builders breaking bricks and exotic animals on display.
You hear a lot of people laughing on the field that day, Johnston said. We just want to say this is how much God loves you and more.
This is the second year Turning Point has included other churches in the event, with a total of 15 of various denominations pitching in with volunteers and money. Many of the churches took multiple offerings from members to help ensure the jubilees success, according to Johnston.
To a lot of people its a challenge to start off the school year with everything that you would like to have, Johnston said. This is a very tangible way to demonstrate that love.