Bishop Godfrey Stubbs, senior pastor of End Time Ministries International, says that he was “overwhelmed” by the great attendance as his church hosted a Back 2 School Giveaway and Mini-Carnival on Saturday, Aug. 6. In all, End Time Ministries and community partners gave away more than 1,000 backpacks full of supplies to Madison-area kids at the annual event.
“It was an overwhelming attendance. It was amazing to see. It was quite a sight to see people of all backgrounds — Caribbean, Asian, African American, white — it was a melting pot of people all coming together to enjoy the festivities,” Stubbs tells Madison365. “To hear the many responses from mothers who said, ‘You really took a burden off me providing us with these backpacks,’ that was nice to hear because for many, with inflation and with COVID, times are tough right now. So we are happy to be able to help in any way that we can.”
Last year’s event saw 900 backpacks given away to kids. This year, people were so excited that they arrived early.
“We were scheduled to start the party at 10 a.m., but people started coming at 9:30 a.m. with their kids. There were so many people waiting that we decided to start early and let the kids go in the bouncy house and on the water slide and get it started,” Stubbs says. “By 9:30, we already had 100 kids in the playground. There was just so much excitement and enthusiasm from the community. It was completely overwhelming.”
The event was hosted by Bishop Stubbs, Lisa Burrell, president of Families Back to the Table, Inc and Howard Haynes, president of Warming Hands Residential Services, LLC.
“I think it’s just a blessing for us to be able to give to community and help parents and guardians and for children to have the supplies that they need on day one. We want to put them in a great position for the school year,” says End Time Ministries Pastor Shelia Stubbs, wife of Bishop Godfrey Stubbs. “We are still in a pandemic, so being able to care for families physically, mentally, spiritually, and having a fun day with them is so important.”
The Back 2 School Giveaway and Mini-Carnival also had cartoon characters, a fire truck, multiple bouncy houses, nachos, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and a dunk tank.
Godfrey Stubbs says that he was grateful to Nic Gibson,the senior Pastor High Point Church, who donated $500 and was willing to get dunked over and over in the dunk tank to raise more money.
“We were able to raise a lot of money through the dunk tank. We had Pastor Nic and we dunked him pretty good,” Shelia Stubbs says, smiling. “We were able to host a health screening booth so we had free screenings available for your blood pressure and other health-related areas. People were able to get information on health care. ministry of medicine team was doing the screening which was really nice. I think at the end of the day, that’s one of the most important tents … taking care of your health.”
Stubbs adds that beyond all of the fun that was had at the mini-carnival, it was really gratifying being able to give out more than 1,000 backpacks.
“I’ve seen family members leave the church grounds who were so happy and many who came and got back packs for their grandkids or sister’s kids or neighbor’s kids,” Stubbs says. “I thought that was unique that they didn’t just come for themselves. They thought about family members and neighbors and you don’t always see that. We didn’t have them fill out any documents, either — if you need it, take it. It’s the honor system here.”
There are still some backpacks left over for kids that might need one.
“They still can come by if they need backpacks. We always make sure we have more than enough. So if people still need to get supplies, they go can reach out to the church,” Shelia Stubbs says.
If you still need a backpack for school this fall, you can come to End Time Ministries, 15 Ellis Potter Court in Madison, and pick one up or email email@example.com