(WTVO) — With school just around the corner and products continuing to rise in cost, two local Christian groups are taking it upon themselves to ease some of the burden parents may face as school swings back into session.

Empowering Word Christian Center hosted their ninth annual Back-to-School Extravaganza today, giving away backpacks and other supplies. Parents say events like the extravaganza help lighten their load.

“It takes a little pressure off of us as parents, it lightens the load for us,” says local parent Kat Gatwood. “Even if it’s just this one bookbag, that’s one less thing I got to get for my child, and everybody else in here too.”

“I’m glad to see a lot of people out,” said Gatwood about other parents who participated in the extravaganza. “Everybody is going to have a chance to take advantage of the opportunities here.”

Empowering Word didn’t stop at school supplies. Free haircuts were also offered, as well as electronics.

“We’re giving away backpacks, we’re giving away Chromebooks, smartphones, smartphone plans, we’re giving away tablets,” said Empowering Word pastor Alvin White. “We’re giving away gift cards, $50 gift cards to Foot Locker and Champs Sports. We’re giving away a lot.”

“Having events like this help to restore parents, it helps to reduce stress,” summed up Gatwood. “Which then, in turn, promotes better parenting.”

Ministries of Restoration also had a school supplies giveaway today. The church has been organizing school supply drives for over 13 years, and pastor Ruby Martin says it’s an important way to show the community they care.

“The bags are a starter, to get into the classroom, that is what is important,” said Martin.

Over 700 backpacks filled with school supplies were given away at Ministries of Restoration’s event. Both groups hope to host even bigger events next year.