One way that Redemption Community Church (RCC), a recent Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church plant in Marlboro, MA, has been serving surrounding communities and beyond is by providing children with backpacks filled with school supplies. Within two years, they have given away over 1200 backpacks.
In August 2021, the first backpack giveaway was at the parking lot of Memorial Middle School in Fitchburg, MA, with the help of the principal, Brittney Lavoie, EdD, and school guidance counselor, Krenlly Rodriguez. RCC gave away around 400 backpacks.
In August 2022, RCC decided to act on faith and set higher goals. God answered prayers! Receiving donations from companies, Leominster English SDA church, and other entities, they were able to collect approximately 800 backpacks. The giveaway was part of a fun event that RCC organized at Memorial Middle school parking lot, with activities including barbers who gave free haircuts, firefighters, prayer ministry, exotic cars, face painting, a bouncy house, SDA motorcycle ministry, and All Nations SDA church drum corps. What a joy to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they received their school supplies.
“It seems that the more backpacks we give, the more they multiply,” said Evelyn Santana, RCC Community Service Coordinator.
With help from Officer Jonathan Ramos, a member at RCC, this year the remaining backpacks were given to North Essex Community College Police Academy who donated them to the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrence, MA.
“This is the first time we actually received something to give away. Thank you!” said Joshua Stokel, the Police Academy director.
Fifty bags were also given to Moca Roche 2 SDA church in Puerto Rico under the leadership of Yangtze Torres and her parents Noel and Elena, so they could host a backpack giveaway event.
“I admire the commitment the Seventh-day Adventist church has for the community. This is amazing!” said Officer Nieves, a policeman who was invited to the event in Puerto Rico.
The remaining backpacks were donated to Roy Lucas, director of Workforce Development & Special Project Consultant, for an event in Worcester, MA.
We thank God for His blessings and for the opportunity to serve children in different communities.
Officer Jonathan Ramos (right) stands beside backpacks ready to be filled with school supplies.
(Left to right) RCC members Shawn Santana and Denisse Velez, with Moses Dixon, president and CEO of Central Massachusetts Aging Agency, and Roy Lucas, director of Workforce Development and Special Project Consultant.
RCC Community Services coordinator Evelyn (left) and Angel (right) Santana, in Puerto Rico with Yangtze Torres (center), who lead the Moca Roche 2 church in organizing a backpack giveaway.
North Essex Community College Police Academy holding backpacks donated by RCC, ready to present them to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, MA.