By Marilyn Wheat
Going or going back to school is an exciting time for students, but can be a burdensome time for parents. Despite the joy in seeing one’s child progress, the cost of school supplies and other preparations can be daunting.
For the 2017-2018 school year in all Walton County schools and some schools in Okaloosa and Bay county, some 2000 families benefited from the assistance of Destiny Worship Center’s Backpack to School program. Through B2S, Destiny Worship Center, its members, attendees, and visitors provided some special assistance to help students and families begin the school year with smiles.
Stacey Reed, DWC Outreach Director, credits Pastor Steven Vaggalis with initiating the program back in 2002. “Pastor Steve has always had a desire to help children in our community,” Reed said, adding that the pastor remembers “when he was growing up his dad would always make sure he had new school supplies, a new pair of shoes and a fresh haircut. It was always such a good feeling to be able to start school this way. It became his desire to make sure other children had this same opportunity.”
There is no “screening process” of families to receive B2S benefits. According to Reed, “they are not selected. Every student/family in the areas we service are invited to register for the program. There are no qualifications.”