As area students prepare to return to school, volunteers at the Suitland Road Church of Christ were busy last weekend passing out backpacks and other supplies, and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks took notice.
The Suitland Road congregation is one of many across the county giving out supplies as the school year approaches, but what is unique about this group is that it’s currently displaced because the roof of their building sustained heavy damage during a recent storm.
“I am amazed,” Alsobrooks said after she stopped by the parking lot of the sanctuary and greeted members on her way to another event. “Despite the devastation to their building, they held this event to support children.”
In addition to backpacks, three-ring binders, tablets, paper and other supplies, the Suitland members grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and gave out snow cones.
Elder Bill Davis and other leaders they the work of the congregation doesn’t stop just because they are out of their building.
“If you call yourself a Christian, you have to do things that God has established,” said Davis, who worked at the event along with his wife Sarah. “The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than receive. We are a community-based church, and how can you call yourself a Christian and [not] help somebody else?”
Evelyn Reddick, wife of the other church elder, said the church continues to distribute food to people in the community at their own building, despite having to temporarily hold services at the Forestville Community Center until their roof is replaced and repairs made.
Alsobrooks spokesperson Gina Ford said that the county executive drops by several community events every weekend. On Saturday, she also visited the Suitland Road Baptist Church, which held a health festival.
Elsewhere in the region, the Beltway Church of Christ in Camp Springs also hosted a back-to-school event Saturday. And on Aug. 24, the First Baptist Church of Glenarden will host its 26th annual health fair, with dozens of vendors, speakers, medical screenings and cooking demonstrations expected.
The event, which takes place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., will be held at the church’s Worship Center at 600 Watkins Park Drive in Upper Marlboro. The focus is on seniors’ and men’s health, with medical and dental stations on site for screenings and information. There will also be a center devoted to youth and adolescent health.