For the ninth year, McDonald's has extended its reach beyond the golden arches above its doors and into neighbouring communities to equip students headed back to school with some of the tools necessary to function in the classrooms. Through a longstanding partnership with St Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk, students residing in the Bain and Grants Town communities have been recipients of backpacks as many of them are members of The Kirk's Sunday school. This year, Commonwealth Bank also joined the effort, earmarking 150 of its 10,000 backpacks distributed annually to the cause. Annually, McDonald's donates over 600 backpacks.
"When a carpenter heads out to a job he usually always has his hammer, tape measure and square," said Earla Bethel, president of DanBrad, parent company of McDonald's, and Clerk of Session at The Kirk.
"It is equally important that our children, in the communities we serve, are not disadvantaged by their socioeconomic status, no fault of their own, but placed on equal footing through these donations. McDonald's is very proud to assist the students of Big Harvest and St Andrew's Kirk as they both provide a framework for establishing spiritual values and mentorship and focus on education through afterschool programmes and tutoring. We look forward to each and every child achieving success in the upcoming school year," she said.
The backpacks were filled with books, pens, pencils and other materials. Additionally, youngsters of the Big Harvest Community Sunday School also received supplies as both Sunday schools service the residents of Bain and Grants Town.
"One of my favourite traditions at St Andrew's Kirk is our back-to-school initiative in Bain and Grant's Town," said Pastor Bryn MacPhail, senior pastor of St Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk. "We have deep affection for and genuine interest in the children of this community. We aspire to show our neighbours the love of Christ and we are grateful for the opportunity that this event presents for us to demonstrate this."
"It's a tremendous blessing," said Superintendent of Big Harvest Sunday School and retired Assistant Commissioner of Police John Ferguson. "It augers well not only for the community but it allows us to enhance what we're during in the inner city through this donation to assist the underprivileged and at-risk youth. We are very grateful for Ms Bethel and DanBrad Limited and we appreciate what they've done and what they're doing and we appreciate them including Big Harvest in this gracious donation."