ROC the Lot event brings community together and provides free school supplies

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Redemption Outreach Church and the Russellville Dream Center recently held the fourth annual "ROC the Lot" event. On Saturday, July 23rd, they gave away hundreds of free backpacks to kids. Someone told WHNT NEWS 19 about their efforts to get kids ready for school, so we surprised them as they were getting the bags ready.

"This year we are doing binders, notebooks, paper pencils and glue sticks," says event organizer Grace Mason.

Mason says they put the event together with kids in mind.

"It's a backpack giveaway that we concentrate on giving backpacks away to school age children," says Mason.

The motivation behind the event is because it's needed.

"There will be some kids where this will be the only school supplies they have," says Shawn Reathford, Redemption Outreach Church Pastor.

Reathford says there are a lot of low-income families that rely on help. Even though their church is small, their vision isn't.

"Being a small church of only 100 to 120 people, we found it almost impossible in the natural to do that, but we knew God had given us the vision," explains Reathford.

Reathford says God supplied the resources too, with many community members and sponsors stepping up to make it happen and cover the cost of the supplies. WHNT NEWS 19'S Pay it Forward was divine timing.

"Wow!" says Reathford, getting emotional. "This goes to take care of the rest of what we're trying to do. We appreciate you guys. Thank you so much!"

Reathford got a little choked up because he said the $319 helped with a last minute expense that came up for generators. The ROC the Lot event was a success and the church gave away all 500 backpacks.