PITTSBURG — Getting ready for the new school year can be financially taxing for some parents.

Victory Life Church put on its annual event on Monday to help families get through the back to school blues.

“We do this for two reasons,” Victory Life Church Pastor Donnie Talent said. “To reach out to the community and let people know someone loves them and to reach out because of the great community we have.”

This year, Talent said the church met its goal of 530 sign-ups.

Over 160 backpacks were donated by GNBank, Westar Energy and United Way, and 150 school supply packages were donated by the three companies and Watco.

Some of the school bags and supplies came from the first Victory Life Church Back 2 School Bike Run which went well, Talent said. There were 40 bikes and “it was amazing,” he said.

This year was also a record high of 40 hairstylists.

McCune resident Heather Sinclair brought her two children and their neighbor friend for the second time. Sinclair said she was thankful for the opportunity to bring the children out for games and tours, along with a fresh new haircut.

“I love it and the kids love it,” she said as the children toured a United Postal Service truck.

The children had an opportunity to see a UPS truck, fire truck, police car and helicopter. Community services, such as Saia Smile Center, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas and programs such as Communities In Schools and Big Brothers and Sisters were there to show what they have the offer.

Pittsburg resident Amy Lingerfelt brought her three-year-old son Noah for his first school haircut. On Sept. 1,  Noah will have his first day at preschool.

Lingerfelt said the Back2School event is much needed in Pittsburg.

“There’s so much poverty here in Pittsburg,” she said. “So many families struggle with haircuts each year.

“For a church to be the hands and feet of God is wonderful.”

Trevor Drenik, cut Noah’s hair. Drenik traveled from Kansas City, Missouri, with a handful of other stylists to give back to his hometown.

“I love being able to give back to where I grew up,” he said.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun