Four years ago Pastor Mike Womer from Relevant Faith Church wanted to find a new way to “Bless the community.” He wanted to have something special for families toward the end of the summer before school started back up. Lots of organizations give away backpacks and school supplies so he had a different idea. “We wanted to do something unique so we give away socks and underwear and we give away free haircuts,” explained Womer. Thus the Back to School Bash was born.
The bash was held Sunday from 5-7 at Dr. Maude Sanders Primary School in Peoria. Womer says the did around 40 haircuts and gave away a couple hundred socks and underwear in the first year. This year they expect to do nearly 100 haircuts and gives socks and underwear to about 300 kids. And it’s not just all under garments and hair care, the bash featured food courtesy of the Hungry Moose, yard games, bounce houses, a cotton candy machine, and more fun for the kids.
Dozens of volunteers helped supervise games, pass out equipment, cut hair, as well as other jobs that needed to be done. Volunteer Isaiah Stuckey said, “It’s good to see we can relieve some of that heartache and some of that headache” for families that may be struggling to properly get their kids ready for the school year. Richwoods Freshman Kenzee Zike said, “It’s fun to see how much it affects people and to hear their stories and how it impacts their lives and seeing everyone so happy.”
Relevant Faith Church has made a commitment to Sanders Primary, adopting the school and pledging to lend a helping hand whenever they can. “We’re supporting students, supporting teachers, supporting parents and families. We do this event and several other events at the school, movie nights and stuff like that,” explained Womer.
The Back to School Bash was open to families and kids from all of Central Illinois, not just Peoria Public Schools District 150.