A local church spent the weekend trying to help parents get their children ready to go back to school. The back-to-school clothing giveaway at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Denison was held at the church on Friday and Saturday and distributed clothes for more than 550 people over the course of the two-day event.

“There are a lot of families that struggle to buy back-to-school clothes for their children,” event organizer Carol Singletary said. “There are a lot of people in this area that are very low income. This is meant to be directed at homeless and low income people. So to serve that population — and even though we call this a back-to-school giveaway — this is for all people of all ages. Anyone that comes in the door can shop.”

The church ran out of clothing for babies on Friday and ran low on clothing for children on Saturday, but it accepts clothing for its giveaways year round.

“There are a lot of people in need,” she said. “This is one way that anyone can help because almost everyone has something in their closet that they are not using anymore. It either does not fit or they do not like it. There is someone around that can use it. If your children have outgrown in, then pass it along to someone that has children in need. This is one place where you can do that.”

The clothing drive, Singletary said, is not about the clothes, but about the people of this community.

“It is important for a community because it brings community unity,” she said. “It is good for individuals for people to learn to reach out and help someone else. It is just as helpful to you as the person you are helping. What goes around comes around. It might not be in the same form. It may come back as a different type of blessing.”

Darla Carpenter volunteered to help with the St. Luke giveaway because she said that she has a heart that wants to help people.

“People need clothes on their backs and it is important especially for children to have the things that they need,” she said. “There are people that do not have much and are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s important for us to help them out. I really like helping out because I have met a lot of people and this is something that I really enjoy doing.”

Wanda Richardson said she believes it is important that the people of Denison take ownership of the community and help each other.

“This helps people who do not have,” she said. “It’s all free and donation based. Our time is free as well. It’s all about people and helping people.

St. Luke’s holds three clothing giveaways a year. The next St. Luke’s clothing giveaway will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 and 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 11.

“The church office is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday,” Singletary said. “People can drop stuff off at that time. Stuff does not have to be in season. As long as it is clean, it does not have to be hung up and it does not have to be organized by size. We will organize it and store it until it is the right season.”