MIDLOTHIAN — Manna House will host its annual back-to-school event to supply families in need with backpacks, haircuts and school supplies from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at Life Church in Midlothian.

The event is by invitation only, but Manna House is still receiving last-minute sign ups and encourages those who missed the deadline to call for details.

“The reason we do it by invitation only is so we can get a count of how many people we serve and demographics,” Office Coordinator Norma Belcher said. “Donors love to see numbers and where their dollars go to serve the community. This also gives us an opportunity to offer any other assistance the family may need.”

The community outreach organization wants to provide as many families as possible with school supplies to prepare students for the fast-approaching school year.

Parents of Midlothian ISD students are encouraged to meet with a Manna House volunteer and fill out a sign-up form. This form will enable volunteers to hand out pre-packaged backpacks to those invited to the event. All of the necessary supplies for all grade levels of MISD students will be provided.

“We want this to be a low-key, fun event for families as kind of a last shindig before school starts back up,” Belcher said. “All the families will have to do is show up and receive their pre-packaged backpack of school supplies. This is an opportunity to let them know they're loved.”

Bounce houses will be set up at Life Church and church volunteers will cook and serve hot dogs for families.

Volunteer teams from MT Training Center in Grand Prairie and local Girl Scouts with Manna House volunteers will make up an assembly line Friday, Aug. 16 to package all of the backpacks and designate each for a specific recipient.

“So far we have 200 individual kids signed up to receive back-to-school supplies,” Belcher said. “In reality, our numbers are down from last year, which we hope is because there are less families in need.”

Last year's event provided more than 275 MISD students with school supplies.

Manna House's goal is serve not only the physical needs of families through school supplies, but also to meet the emotional and spiritual well-being of Midlothian area residents and build a stronger, healthier community.

Contact Manna House at 972-775-1800 or go online at www.MannaHouseMidlothian.org.