A group of local church youth group members gathered earlier this summer, and beginning from a simple idea from an area student, managed to impact many families through a successful school supply giveaway.

In March of 2016, the Jacksonville Area Conference of Churches (JACC) Youth Ministry Committee brought together the youth groups of member churches to form a new group called FYI – Fellowship of Youth Interdenominational. The group discussed community needs that the youth could impact in a positive way.

Life Church member Mikayla Cox suggested the idea of a school supply giveaway. Her youth coordinator, Nathanael Herbert, brought the idea to the group, and the project was launched.

Each youth group raised funds for the purchasing of new school supplies. With the assistance of JACC Youth Ministry chairman Lori Manker, hundreds of items were purchased from local stores. The giveaway was scheduled for August 7 in Central Park. 

On the day of the event, tables were set up in the park, and students from the area churches each manned a station with specific school supplies. A total of 107 families were served, and 284 individual students received needed supplies to help start their school year.

It is hoped that the group can continue it’s success in 2017 with an even larger event. Congratulations to Mikayla and the entire FYI team for helping make our community an even better place to live.

Jacksonville Area Conference of Churches is an ecumenical organization open to area churches. The group organizes city-wide events like Good Friday services, Thanksgiving Service, and special event assemblies. The group also organizes local congregations to impact community charity efforts. This past year, the group has helped support the Shoeman Water Project, participated in the supply collection for New Directions Warming Center, and the collection of prizes for the Braveheart Game Nights for special-need adults. The group is continuing to look for additional opportunities like the FYI School Supply Giveaway to help impact our community in positive ways. As their motto reads: “Together… we can do great things!”

Media Contacts:

Adam Dichson

Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church

President, Jacksonville Area Conference of Churches

Lori Manker,
Youth Coordinator, Jacksonville Area Conference of Churches

(217) 416-4160

Steven Varble

Publicity Chairman, Jacksonville Area Conference of Churches

(217) 245-5131

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