“I need one girl, elementary, and two boys, middle,” volunteers shouted back to workers sorting through backpacks Saturday afternoon.

The Thankful Baptist Church activity building was full of parents where the church’s Back 2 School Bash was in full swing.

The event has been in the works since the beginning of the summer, coordinator Chanterria McKeever said. The first ever B2SB brought carnival games, an inflatable slide, free food and — most importantly — 450 free backpacks for local students.

Most of the donations came from the community, McKeever said, with businesses like Kellogg Co. giving big boxes of goodies and other items. Cotton candy, popcorn and facepaint were a few examples of donated items. The carnival games were also created in house, she said.

Most of the people who came through the Back 2 School Bash weren’t from Thankful Baptist, McKeever said, which was a good thing. The church was wanting to be of service to the community, and she felt like they accomplished that goal.

“The community was awesome,” said volunteer Kimberley Brown.

Middle and high school backpacks contained pens, pencils and paper. Elementary school students received glue, crayons, markers, rulers, scissors pens and more.

Pastor Bernard Young said the event went well other than a few hiccups — which were bound to happen during the first time. There was a great turnout for the B2SB, said Young, and the church was happy to bless those who may be struggling.

McKeever echoed Bernard’s comments. “Some people do show up to school without any school supplies,” she said. “Some parents have several kids at home and can’t afford a full supply list for all of them. Sometimes a parent just lost a job, can’t find work or the family just fell on hard times.

Whatever was left over — if there were any — would be donated to Main Elementary. The nearby elementary school had been adopted by the church 10 to 15 years ago, McKeever said. With the school opening its new building, she and others at the church felt like the time was right to try and get the community excited about going back to school.

For those who missed the Thankful Baptist Church Back 2 School Bash, there is another opportunity for parents to find supplies. The Rome City Schools Super Showcase is scheduled for Thursday from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

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