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Abundant Life Fellowship to sponsor ‘August Overflow’

NEW WATERFORD – For the 13th consecutive year, Abundant Life Fellowship, 46469 state Route 46, is once again sponsoring August Overflow, a one-day community outreach event with distribution of school supplies, clothing, food and more.

Senior Pastor Jeff Schoch, coordinator of the annual event, said August Overflow will be back to full on-site activities this year from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 7 after a limited drive-through event in 2020.

“We’re back to opening everything up this year,” Schoch said, explaining that bounce-houses, games, a barrel train ride, in-house dining, clothing, school supply and fresh produce distributions are all a part of the day’s activities. One event, a Red Cross blood drive, will not be part of Overflow this year because the agency was not available that day.

As usual, the school supply distribution is specifically for students in Crestview, Columbiana (including Heartland Christian), Leetonia, East Palestine, Lisbon and Beaver Local districts, as well as home-schooled students in those areas. In addition, the event serves students who are part of the five churches within the 4C’s (Crestview Churches Community Concerns) district. Besides Abundant Life, those churches include East Fairfield United Methodist, Middleton Friends Meeting, New Waterford United Methodist and Zion Lutheran.

Families will register for the school supplies when they arrive on a first-come, first served basis. As in the past, each student will be given tickets to select the specific school items needed. Typically, more than 325 students have received goods, though last year the number was down because of the pandemic and rainy weather. Students do not necessarily need to be present, though parents are asked to bring the most recent report card for each child and a driver’s license to show proof of residency. No school supplies will be distributed after the event is over.

Distribution of good used clothing returns to Overflow this year. Patrons will be able to select what they need in person with volunteers available to assist.

Grill food including hamburgers, hot dogs and fries along with side dishes will be available to eat on the premises. Kids can enjoy a variety of bounce-houses and games. A barrel train ride will run at various times outside near the baseball field. And Second Harvest Food Bank will once again be providing fresh produce for distribution outside near the main entrance of the church.

August Overflow is funded through the church and through business and personal sponsors. Major sponsors this year include the Columbiana Community Foundation, NDC Heating and Cooling of New Waterford, Graft Electric of Columbiana, Family Care Services of Columbiana, East Palestine and Leetonia and A Plus Powder Coaters of Columbiana. In addition the Way Station of Columbiana helps by providing clothing for that distribution. Upper Room Fellowship of Columbiana also has contributed student hygiene gift bags the past couple of years. Head Start and the Counseling Center of Columbiana County also have participated with giveaways in past years.

Any business or individual who would like to contribute can send a check to the church and be included in a trifold color brochure distributed to all participants the day of the event.

August Overflow started in 2009, a year after Schoch joined the staff at Abundant Life as senior pastor. “I’ve always had a heart for community outreach,” Schoch said. “During that first year, I had several members come to me separately about ideas they had about serving the community.” One wanted to give away school supplies. Another thought it would be fun to invite the public to a picnic type event with grill food. Another envisioned a carnival type event with games and bounce houses. Somebody else thought people could use some assistance with good used clothing.

“All those ideas came together to create August Overflow,” Schoch said. “Here we are 13 years later still able to reach out thanks to the generosity of amazing volunteers and donors.”

Abundant Life Fellowship is an independent non-denominational church. Sunday services start at 10:30 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m. for corporate and personal prayer in the sanctuary. Any questions about Overflow or the church can be answered during weekday office hours from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 330-457-7317.

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