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CONTACT: Walt Mayhew, (203) 732-5220


DERBY, CT Walnut Hill Community Church, located at the corner of Smith and Ninth Streets in Derby
recently provided back to school assistance for low-income students who attend the districts two grammar
schools in the form of back to school supplies and clothing assistance.

The church packed over 300 red vinyl bags with back to school supplies such as pencil cases, pens, pencils, and
notebooks to pass out to students from Bradley and Irving Schools. Each bag was filled based on a list of items
that the district felt students needed in heading back to school, by grade.

Pastor Walt Mayhew, Walnut Hills Derby Campus Pastor, said the giveaway came out of the relationship the
church has developed with the principals in the two grammar schools. Consistent with our vision of Loving
God and Our Neighbor as Jesus commanded, I have been reaching out to these principals to see how the church
might come alongside them to support what they are doing. This effort was a result of the relationship that has

Pastor Mayhew explained that this year, in addition to other needs, both principals indicated a need for
assistance in providing back to school supplies, which was affirmed when he met with Dr. Matthew Conway
Derbys Superintendent of Schools over the summer. When I met with the Superintendent this summer, he
affirmed the need for help with back to school supplied. So, we began to look for a way to provide the

Mayhew explained that he was able to partner with a Christian foundation to secure additional funding he could
combine with funds from the church which made it possible to undertake such a large project. During the
summer, He worked with Bradley School Principal Mario Ciccarini identifying items for purchase from various
bulk suppliers in order to place orders for the back to school materials.

In addition to the back to school supplies, the church also worked with Ms. Kathy Dockery, Irving Schools
Parent and School Climate Liaison person to provide clothing assistance for 30 children from 20 families who
attend Irving School. During the summer, in meeting with the Principals and Superintendent, Irving School
Principal Jen Olson asked if we might be able to provide back to school clothing assistance to some families at
Irving, so we included that as part of our back to school initiative.

Pastor Mayhew said instead of a traditional approach of simply passing out gift cards, members of the
congregation met the families at the local Walmart in Derby for a joint shopping trip to provide the $100 of
clothing assistance per child. Our church is all about family and relationships so this approach made sense.
What a wonderful blessing it was to demonstrate Gods love to those in need on such a personal basis and see
first had the gratitude and thankfulness of the parents and children. It warmed the hearts of those in the
congregation who shopped with them. Mayhew said.

Mayhew went on to say that the experience was so well received that he hopes to meet with the Superintendent
and Principals to review and debrief with the hopes of annually being able to provide back to school assistance
to families in need who attend the Derby Public Schools.