With an eye on filling a need, the United Methodist Church of Anoka held United for the Community Aug. 30, a first-time event just in time for the back to school rush.
The event, also put on by Northern Lights Church of Ramsey, focused in bringing the community together while providing things like free school supplies, haircuts along with health and wellness information.
But those serious needs were mixed with some fun and entertainment, including a a live band, fun hair-do’s and bouncy games.
The Anoka-Champlin Fire Department was also on hand to spread the word about public safety.
“Our pastors had the inspiration to do something for the community,” said Carole Davidson, a member of the organizing committee. “We’re really pleased with how things turned out for our first time.”
Another popular attraction was the distribution of free cell phones through the Lifeline program. More than 40 phones were given out to those who qualified, according to Davidson.
Mother-son team Joyce O’Loughlin and Fletcher Klick of George’s Barber Shop on Seventh Avenue in Anoka provided more than 45 free haircuts for kids heading back to school, said Davidson.
Along with the Anoka, United for the Community also attracted people from as far as Cambridge and Zimmerman.
Davidson said she attended recent back to school events at Champlin Park and Coon Rapids high schools, hosted by the school district, to learn more about how to help local families.
For next year, organizers will continue to look at ways the church can fill a need in the community, Davidson said.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org