GIVING BACK: House of Peace Worship Church to hold school supply bash

Published 4:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2022

With the start of school not far away, House of Peace Worship Church International in partnership with Life of Mississippi is holding a party and giving away school supplies to local children.

The church’s school supply giveaway has been an annual event for the past 20 years, pastor Linda Sweezer said, adding this year the church with the help of Life of Mississippi, a non-profit organization that helps enhance the lives of disabled citizens, she’s taking the program “to the next level.”

“Because we were not able to have our (summer) camp for the community children, we decided to make it a bash; the back-to-school giveaway is also a bash,” she said. “We’re going to get some speakers, we’re going to get someone from the school district to come and talk, Life of Mississippi will bring some fun activities for the kids, we’ll have a food truck and we’ll have a snow cone truck.”

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The back-to-school giveaway bash is on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church at 1301 Holly St.

“It will be festivities and fun,” Sweezer said. “They’ll be outside, they’ll be inside in the fellowship hall. We’ll have food, we’ll have snow cones, we’ll have games and we’ll have door prizes.”

She said during the program the representative from the Vicksburg Warren School District will discuss school regulations and policies. She will follow with a prayer for the start of school.

“I always pray to make sure we pray for the children, the parents, the faculty and staff of our whole school,” Sweezer said. “I think if ever a time it was certainly important (to pray) it is now with these school shootings.”

Besides the meal and games, children attending the bash will receive a bag of school supplies.

“We have the pencils, notebooks, we’ve got paper, all the other accessories; we’ll have a lot. We will also put in pens, glue, pencil sharpeners, scissors. We try to get everything we can on the (school list),” she said.

Sweezer said church members hand out about 300 bags to children every year and in 2021 handed out about 600 bags to children in Vicksburg and Rolling Fork.

Besides Life of Mississippi and its executive director, Dr. Augusta Smith, Sweezer said she receives help from an organization in Michigan called MMORE that has helped her with projects.

“They (MMORE) are a group of Christian people,” she said, pointing out two members, Roger and Dale Meekhof. “We’ve worked together for almost 30 years doing projects for the community. They worked with me on this building; they always like to help and they’re always sending contributions to help with our back-to-school giveaway.”
Sweezer said parents are urged to register their children in advance “so we will know how many coupons will be given to children to get their food and snow cones free.”

Parents can call the church at 855-540-0720 for more information.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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