A friendly competition between a men’s group and women’s group at a local church is benefitting Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students.
The Rev. Kenneth Stewart of Body of Christ Church in Waldorf, and the church’s First Lady, Davita Gaines-Stewart, dropped off more than 100 new hoodie sweatshirts to Theodore G. Davis Middle School on Friday.
Linda Stocks, pupil personal worker (PPW) at Davis, was there to welcome them. It is a familiar sight — the Stewarts donating school supplies, food and clothing for CCPS students. “They just follow me from school to school,” Stocks said. She has known the couple for more than two decades. Gaines-Stewart’s mother, Joanne Gaines, was Stocks’ mentor during her time as a sixth-grade teacher in Prince George’s County.
“I have called them to ask for things … they have called me to ask what we need,” Stocks said. The hoodie collection came about during a discussion in a parking lot. The Stewarts were handing over school supplies donated by church members to Stocks when they started talking about the coming school year.
In between T-shirt season and when the parkas are pulled out of the coat closet, students will need an extra layer. “Just a little something to put on,” Stocks said. The hoodie donation was born.
Stewart mused that he would ask the men’s group at church to oversee the collection, but Gaines-Stewart thought the women’s group could get in on it too. A friendly competition started with church members bringing hoodies and sweatshirts in all sizes to Sunday services for about a month.
“We had hoodies piled in our family room this past month,” Gaines-Stewart said. While the collection has officially wrapped up, Stewart expects a few more donations trickling in. “We’re here to try to fill a need,” he said.
Stocks will take the donation to the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building where PPWs store donations of supplies and clothing for CCPS students in need.