Jacksonville church helps parents in need with back-to-school supplies

Local back to school shoppers talked about their worries ahead of the start of the new school year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two mass shootings were reported in the United States in less than 24 hours.

Law enforcement reported 20 victims were killed and 26 others injured from a shooting inside a Walmart in an El Paso, Texas.

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Nine victims and at least 27 others were injured in a popular nightlife area in Dayton, Ohio.

Police said the Walmart in El Paso, Texas was filled with back-to-school shoppers.

In Texas and Florida, parents were taking advantage of the tax-free holiday weekend for school supplies.

In light of recent events, some local parents said they are worried sending their children back to school.

“That’s one of my really big concerns... worried about him going back to school and not coming home one day,” local parent, Serina Poore said.

Poore and her husband have a four-year-old son, Maverick.

She said they interviewed various preschools in Clay County about their safety procedures before choosing a school for him.

“I would ask their safety procedures, how they would respond during an incident, when they would let us know, things like that,” Poore said, “what they would do to prevent these incidents from happening.”

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Sunday, Poore and her church are hosting a school supply giveaway event to help families with another stress of school, buying school supplies.

“It cuts a lot of stress out having to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on school supplies, especially if you have more than one kid,” Poore said. “I have friends with three or four kids so a $25 bookbag on top of $40 worth of school supplies, times three or four, that really adds up.”

Students in Clay County will see more police on campus this school year.

Thursday, Action News Jax reported on 47 officers sworn in for the district’s new police department.

As parents address school safety with their children, Journey church is helping with another stress in the classroom, school supplies.

Journey Church is hosting their 12th annual “Backpack Packout” giveaway event at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

They are giving away about 350 backpacks, each filled with school supplies, for families in need.

On Monday, they will also donate about 820 bags of supplies to Clay County teachers.

They told Action News Jax all supplies were donated.

The church partnered with the Clay County Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors for supplies.

“It’s always exciting to just see their face glow,” Journey Church Pastor Eric Jaffe said. “In light of current events, it certainly is just another opportunity to try to bless people in this crazy kind of world we live in today.”