Over 300 local kids and their parents have one less burden to worry about when school starts Aug. 12, as the well-attended 3rd Annual Backpack Giveaway by Blythe’s non-denominational Higher Vision church brought blessings and gratitude together under one roof.

Hosted by Higher Vision’s local pastor Clint Soehnel, the event was held at the membership’s own house of worship for the first time.

The pews were full and the church was standing room only as Higher Vision provided live entertainment before families lined up to receive a free backpack for kids to take with them into the 2019-2020 school year.

“I just want to take a moment to let you know why we do this. It’s not because we just want to do a nice thing for the community,” said Soehnel to attendees. “We (also) wanted to share the love of Christ; as a church, we decided to come together and share the love of Christ with our community — and to tell you that Jesus loves you — by giving away backpacks.”

In years past, all told, the Higher Vision church has seen over 400 backpacks to local youths — K-12 and college — in need.

The backpacks were collected and donated by the church’s membership.

Higher Vision also held a raffle for all who picked up a backpack on July 28. The winner received a $200 Walmart gift card to buy school clothes as well.

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