Champion City Church held its fourth annual backpack drive to benefit foster children living at A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay.

Remember the night before the first day of the new school year? You picked out your favorite outfit and placed your new pair of shoes next to them. You may have stared at them for a bit, and it made you feel good. For some students it gave them some confidence. This was the driving force behind Champion City Church’s backpack drive for A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay.

“We wanted them to go back to school with the confidence that other students wouldn’t pick on them about their shoes,” said Bruch Hall, lead pastor at Champion City Church. “We wanted them to have the peace of mind that they have a new backpack that will last the school year and it has some things in it that will help them succeed this school year.”

A Kid’s Place, located in Brandon, provides a safe and loving home for foster children. Champion City Church’s successful backpack drive provided 60 backpacks and 60 pairs of shoes for the children living at A Kid’s Place.

Hall said that the church has been very moved by the work at A Kid’s Place.

“They take care of the orphans and that’s exactly what the book of James tells us to do,” said Hall. “The Bible tells us in James 1:27, ‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’”

The backpacks and shoes were purchased through the monetary donations by church members as well as the outreach efforts in the community.

“As pastors, we don’t want to just talk about tithing,” said Hall. “But, we want to be a church that tithes, so 10 percent of everything that’s given to us at Champion City is given away through our outreach called ‘Love The 813.’ As a church, we give to the community, world missions, help others plant churches and assist other churches reach their communities.”

Hall explained that the children at A Kid’s place have already been impacted in life and need advocates.

“A Kid’s Place has already done so much to stand along these little champions and we want to do our part too,” said Hall. “Most of these children arrive at A Kid’s Place with all of their earthly belongings in a Walmart shopping bag, if they even have that. They don’t have backpacks and they more than likely don’t have a good pair of shoes, let alone a pair that will last them all school year. We wanted to do something about that.”

Champion City Church has a continuing vision of outreach for the community with several upcoming events, including a food pantry to serve students that may come from food-insecure homes, a Thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas toy drive.

To stay updated on the programs or to volunteer, visit www.MyChampCity.com. You can also follow on Facebook @MyChampCity and Instagram @Love_The813.