On Wednesday, Advantage Academy staff and First Assembly volunteers prepared for the back-to-school event hosted by Canales Furniture, filling backpacks with school supplies for students.

Volunteers gathered at First Assembly in Waxahachie at 9 a.m. to sort the school supplies for the drive-through event Friday, Aug. 21.

Waxahachie Advantage Academy Principal Danna Martin said Wednesday that parents were excited for the event. "They’re very excited. My parents and I have great communication with them, and so they are constantly texting me, emailing me and calling me. So they’re blowing up my phone and saying ‘when is it and where is it?’," Martin shared. "But so many people are out of jobs in COVID right now, so this is a huge blessing to many families."

Heidi Dollar, a volunteer with First Assembly Waxahachie and Heart and Home ministries, gave her time to assemble backpacks and school supplies for students in need.

"This is our first outreach that we’ve been able to do. We had people asking ‘what can we do to help?’. All of these people they want to help always, they’re the greatest volunteers and they are always ready and able to help and want to give up their time," Dollar said. "It makes me feel wonderful because we’re supposed to share the love of Christ, and I know with COVID it’s been a real rough time. I can’t imagine having to buy school supplies for multiple kids if you’ve lost your job. It makes us feel like we are blessed ’cause we’re even blessed to bless others."

According to Dollar, volunteers have spent about 50 hours of their time buying supplies and assembling them for the drive and have prepared more than 800 backpacks.

"I’m just excited that we can be a part of the community, and Canales Furniture has been a huge blessing. They have a heart to serve the community, wherever their stores are located, so they are always doing outreaches. They’re the ones that donated the backpacks," Dollar shared. "They reached out to us. I know the owner of the Waxahachie store, Hector Chavez. He’s a missions partner, and he’s the one that reached out to us."

First Assembly Waxahachie Pastor Carl Richard shared the servant nature of the church.

"Our purpose is at First Assembly, we call these events ‘servolutions,’ where we just serve our communities. During the pandemic, we had done some type of ’servolution’ event every week. We have served our police department with gift bags, we brought bundt cakes from a local bakery to the fire departments ... so just different things through this entire time. Just about every week we’ve done some type of event, so we’re looking forward to serving some of our students in Waxahachie too, with some of these backpacks," Richard said Wednesday.

The free drive-through event will be from 5-8 p.m. at the Canales Furniture located on 600 North Highway 77 Suite #E, Waxahachie, TX 75165 .

The free supplies are available for anyone is the WISD district.

"This event, really we have joined hands with local businesses as well, which we’re really excited for. Some gave cash, some gave backpacks, some bought school supplies, families in our church donated money. We’re just facilitating the work part." Richard added.