By Kristi Parker Johnson

Harker Heights Herald

The new school year starts in a few weeks, and many parents are heading to stores for school clothes and supplies. But some families don't have the money for that kind of shopping, said Lou Ferzacca.

"We assessed this through the homeless meal we do for the community," Ferzacca, director of Bread of Life Outreach Ministries, said. "I just go around and talk to people and ask them what they need, and before I knew it, I had a list of children who need supplies."

In response, Ferzacca organized a school-supplies drive with the help of First Baptist Church of Harker Heights Food Care Center.

"We need the help of the community," Ferzacca said. "I can't just give a man a sandwich and say, 'I hope you live until next month and I can see you again.' I have to take it a step further. All of us are two weeks away from being homeless or not knowing where we're going to live."

Ferzacca currently has 40 students who need school supplies, and he anticipates identifying even more. In addition to basic supplies, Ferzacca also wants to hand out backpacks and shoes.

"We want to provide the tools they need, the basic human necessities," he said.

"If you can help some or one in need, please help."

Supplies most needed are spiral notebooks, folders, Crayons, colored markers, colored paper, scissors, rulers, pens and pencils, shoes and backpacks.

"We're going to bless the backpacks before we hand them out," Ferzacca said.

School supplies, shoes and monetary donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, at First Baptist Church of Harker Heights, 100 E. Ruby, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the Food Care Center also at the church.

Donations are accepted through Aug. 24. School supplies will be distributed at the church's monthly community meal at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.

Students also can get free school supplies at the church's annual community picnic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, according to Food Care Center Director Linda Dawson.

"We'll have bounce-houses and children's games, and we're giving away school supplies as prizes," Dawson said. "We'll also have hot dogs and chips. It's free to anyone in the community."

Anyone who has a need for school supplies can call Ferzacca at (954) 257-8843 or Dawson at (254) 768-2061.

"We need the names of the children, the schools and grades they'll be in, and shoe sizes," Dawson said.

Contact Kristi Parker Johnson at or (254) 501-7548.

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