Local faith groups work with Lake County leaders to host Youth on Fire community event in Painesville – News-Herald
Local churches, businesses, and city and county officials worked together to host the first annual faith-focused community Youth on Fire event on September 4 at Morse Park in Painesville.
Youth on Fire had a lot to offer to engage participants – it featured a football tournament, bounce house, local vendors, and a barbecue.
Staff from the Lake County General Health District were also on site with a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic, offering both Pfizer and Moderna brand vaccines.
At the heart of the event, however, was the cause that started it all: backpacks for children in need. Michael Jackson, pastor of the Temple of Pentecostal Church in Painesville, led the organization of a backpack drive, which ended up collecting over 3,000 backpacks leading to Youth on Fire.
During the event, families were invited to register to receive backpacks for their children.
“I got up one day and the Lord put it on my heart,” Jackson said, “and so I did some research and found out that there were 3,034 students in Painesville – and j Did you know what, what if we made 3,000 backpacks for school kids in the town of Painesville? ”
Jackson said he started asking for backpacks and donations, and soon the community and its leaders rallied around the cause.
“Before you know it, the (Lake County) commissioners]came to our aid,” he said.
They were also joined by the nonprofit Ground Zero Elevated and several other churches in Painesville such as Miracle Revival Church and St. John Baptist Church.
“People just started to introduce themselves and say ‘what can I do?’ He remembers.
Even businesses in the area helped provide all of the backpacks. Jackson said Meritech, Inc, a Cleveland-based office technology provider, donated the first 720 backpacks for the reader.
“The people and Lake County really came, they (the backpacks) came from all over the place,” Jackson said.
Chris Lee, another lead organizer of Youth on Fire, said he was happy to see many members of the community come to the event to listen to speakers and see live dance performances choreographed by worship teams. participants.
“I’m really, really proud of how this turned out,” Lee said.
Since they were able to collect so many backpacks, Lee said, he plans to have another event in January so families can buy a brand new backpack in case the one their kids started the year with. school wears out.