Driver church continues school supply drive

Published 10:29 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

Berea Christian Church in Driver once again helped Suffolk teachers start the school year off right with its annual school supply drive held on Tuesday.

Roughly 80 teachers from Florence Bowser and Nansemond Parkway elementary schools visited Berea Christian Church on Driver Lane to select 40 different classroom items free of charge.

They also enjoyed a slew of delicious refreshments prepared by the Berea Christian Church women’s fellowship committee.

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“It’s my favorite day of pre-service week,” said Virginia Ashburn, a Florence Bowser first-grade teacher who grabbed crayons, printer paper, markers and hand sanitizer, “because we get school supplies and snacks at the same time.”

This marked the third year that Berea Christian Church has organized this missions project, according to missions committee chairperson Betty Barnes.

Church members started collecting school supplies after Easter and also received donations from the Suffolk community. They collected more than 3,500 school supply items for teachers this year, Barnes said.

“It’s really been a project for our entire church,” Barnes said. “Our congregation is small, but everybody in the church has really gotten behind this project and made it really successful.”

Teachers came to the church in waves on Tuesday for their classroom essentials.

Florence Bowser kindergarten teacher Taylor Flick made sure to get extra folders and composition books, which get worn very easily in the hands of 5-year-olds, she said. Her fellow Florence Bowser kindergarten teacher, Theresa Kujawski, got Play-Doh for more hands-on activities.

“I think it’s awesome to see how the people come together for the future of the community, with the children being prepared for the school year,” Kujawski said.

“It’s really helpful for us,” Flick said. “Whether they know that or not, they’re really doing us a huge favor in setting our year off right.”

This is the second year that Flick and Kujawski have personally gotten items from this school supply drive, and they agree that it’s a much more rewarding experience than simply having supplies dropped off at their schools.

They’re able to come to the church, pick out things that fulfill their personal classroom needs and also enjoy delicious confections while they talk with members of the church.

“We get to see their community and their church family,” Flick said, which is important to her because she grew up in a small church herself. “We get to come and be part of that.”

The men and women of Berea Christian Church are happy to supply Suffolk teachers so that they don’t have to spend their own money on the school year. Barnes made it clear they that deserve every pencil they can spare.

“The most important thing,” Barnes said “is trying to show the image of God’s love to our community teachers, and to show that we are so appreciative of the kindness that they show their students.”