Dover ministry set for 3rd back to school celebration Saturday

14dsn soSAD event flierDOVER — Shirlene Jones, founder of the Dover-based Save Our Sons and Daughters Outreach Ministry, hopes to help kids start the school year off on a good note during the organization’s third annual back to school celebration on Saturday.

The event will be held on New Street in Dover. It will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

The organization encourages and guides young adults to stop the violence within their communities, and will be giving out backpacks and school supplies during the celebration.

“We intend to give out about 110 backpacks,” Ms. Jones said. “We’ve increased the amount of backpacks we’ve given out every year.

“During the first year we gave out 92 and then the next year it went to 102. We give out knapsacks that contain tooth brushes and other supplies. We give them enough supplies to start the school year off.”

The event will feature live music, games and various activities.

“We’re going to have face painting this year,” Ms. Jones said. “I’m really excited about that. I just want everyone to have a good time.”

Mayor Robin Christiansen will attend the event as well.

“I believe this organization is working hard to try to make the lives better for residents living in these communities,” Mayor Christiansen said.

“If my presence at the event helps in any way I’m pleased to be there. I want to help and be a part of the cause.”

In 2009 the organization held its first backpack giveaway and gave away school supplies to children, handing out the supplies from the trunk of Ms. Jones’ car.

“This is the third year since we had the celebration,” Ms. Jones said. “But I’ve been doing this since 2009 and it’s great watching it grow every year.”

The organization consists of volunteers, friends and anyone willing to help, said Ms. Jones.

It’s funded by all the volunteers that help, as they come out of their own pockets to pay for their food drives and annual backpack giveaways.

Ms. Jones said she doesn’t ask for money, but accepts any donations that she can.

“There are a lot of people that help,” Ms. Jones said. “People help by giving money, but we would rather people give us supplies.”

Ms. Jones praised everyone that has helped her with organization.

‘I couldn’t do it without myco-workers,” Ms. Jones said. “All of my co-workers at DHSS/DDDS helped me the most.

“It’s a collaborative effort and they help me out any way that they can.”

Ms. Jones said the satisfaction of helping others is what makes everything worthwhile.

“It’s a joy knowing I get to help these kids,” Ms. Jones said. “It’s a great feeling being a part of this process and I hope to continue provide that feeling for many years to come.”

For more information contact Ms. Jones at (302) 335-0759 or Dee Anderson at (302) 241-8739.

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