Valley Community Outreach holds back-to-school distribution

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, August 2, 2022

VALLEY — Valley Community Outreach (a.k.a. The Village) and West Point-based Tree of Life joined forces to have a Back-to-School distribution Saturday morning in the parking lot in front of Valley Baptist Church. Several hundred people turned out for the 10 a.m. to noon event.

The Village and the Tree of Life are 501(c)3 nonprofits committed to helping improve the lives of people in the local area.

With another school year about to start in the two-state area, the weekend distribution was an ideal time to help families of school-age children stock up on needed supplies such as notebook paper, pencils, erasers, crayons, colored markers, glue, binders and folders, construction paper, pencil sharpeners and clothing supplies.

“We’ve had a very good turnout today, and we are pleased with that,” said Clint Gilder of The Village. “We thank the community for continuing to get the word out about what we are trying to do. We thank Walmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond for partnering with us in our distributions. We also thank the First Baptist Church of Valley for allowing us to be here today. It’s a good central location.”

The Village is planning on a community distribution in LaFayette on Saturday, Aug. 20. It will be taking place in the parking lot next to the LaFayette High gym.

The Tree of Life is a faith-based, nonprofit organization founded in 2014 by Jennifer Hughley Grier, who has an extensive background as an educator, working with families and communities and working with individuals with disabilities.

The primary mission and purpose of The Tree of Life is to connect individuals with disabilities to vocational services and to help economically disadvantaged individuals by connecting them to the proper tools and resources. It serves the west central Georgia and east central Alabama regions.

In May, The Village hosted a free distribution of food, clothing and household items in the parking lot in front of Valley Baptist Church. That event was well attended, too.

Members of The Village have previously held Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives and litter cleanups. They have also sent care packages to U.S. troops.

The Village is made up of adults who grew up in the Valley, have always loved the community and want to give back to it.

Most members have made good livings in places like Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery, Columbus, Florida and Washington, D.C.

“We just want to say thank you to the community where we were raised,” Gilder said.

“We want to help families in need, especially the elderly and the disabled.”