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Real Life Church donates backpacks to kids

Posted: August 3, 2013 8:45 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2013 8:45 p.m.

Christian Granados, 10, left, and brother Rafael, 12, open up their new backpacks as hundreds wait in line at the Savia Community Expo in Newhall on Saturday.

Members of Valencia’s Real Life Church sought to help parents cross one item off their back-to-school shopping lists Saturday as they gave out approximately 900 backpacks at the church’s first Savia Community Expo.

Volunteers began handing out the backpacks, school supplies and juice samples Saturday afternoon, accompanied by the sounds of a live band and local business displays.

“They started lining up about 10 or 10:30 this morning,” said Real Life Church Facilities Manager Gregg Lewis while he directed a winding line of families.

Approximately 900 backpacks were set to be given away during the expo, according to Lewis, who estimated that about 800 children had been through the line to receive the back packs within the first half-hour of the three-hour event.

“We have a lot of backpacks to give away and we’re excited to touch a lot of families that way and with the expo going on, we hope for a lot of people to come,” said Rusty George, lead pastor of Real Life Church.

The expo also marked the opening of the church’s nonprofit coffee and juice bar.

“This is the official grand opening for artisan Java and Juice — our nonprofit coffee, tea, and juice bar where all of our proceeds go to local nonprofit organizations in the Santa Clarita area,” said Mark Mears, director of communications for Real Life Church.

The church’s Newhall location is intended to be used both as a community building and a ministry center, according to Mears.

“It’s a community partnership,” Mears said. “The hours vary but we house Light of Hope, Single Mothers Outreach and the Domestic Violence Center.”



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