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Monday, September 24, 2012

Shiloh Carnival: A Community Affair

Many folks in the Riverview neighborhood are looking good these days, thanks to one particular outreach from the Shiloh Baptist Church in Kingsport.

Hundreds of clothing items were available at the church's annual Community Carnival on Saturday, September 22nd.

The clothes were free of charge.

"I talked to one man who came through," says church pastor Kenneth Calvert. "He said, 'Reverend, I just needed some pants to go to work in. He found 4 pair just right there, and to me that's what it all about. The young folks love, of course, the games and the food, but the parents get a benefit, too."

Rev. Calvert says, about 200 people browsed through the clothes, and everybody left with something.

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Kids at the carnival, also had a good time, especially when the engine from the fire department arrived, not on a firefighting mission.. the engine and the firefighters manning it were on a kids outreach mission.

"We like working with the Kingsport Fire Department, the Kingsport Police Department on occasion, and the Sullivan County Health Department," says Reverend Calvert. "It lets the kids build bridges with the officials who protect them. If we can get a young child to realize that they can go to the police instead of being chased BY the police, then it's mission accomplished."

"The fire department really gets a kick out of bringing an engine by," Reverand Calvert says. "We were lucky this year, because sometimes the equipment they want to bring, is on the scene of a fire or a wreck, and is too busy to stop by. Today, the kids got to touch the fire truck, they got to sit in it, wear some of the equipment the firefighters wear, and be a part of what they do. The firemen themselves get to interface with the kids, answer their questions, and in some cases, court future firefighters who may have gotten a good impression from their previous close-up visit."

This is the 15th year for the Shiloh Community Carnival.

"Every year, we stand back and look at it, and the outreach does actually get bigger and better," says Reverend Calvert. "We enjoy giving back to the community in this and other ways. We also want to thank Johnnie Mae Swagerty.. she brought the New Vision Youth over, and they showed some of the other community kids how to have good clean fun.. that always makes a difference in their lives. We also welcomed some of the other churches who came over and fellowshipped with us."

"It's not just Shiloh. It's a community affair."