Maria Middleton of Capitol Heights, MD, and her eleven year-old daughter, Antuiga, look over a registration card which organizers will use to remain in touch with families.
For a Maryland church, an annual book bag giveaway for needy families is about more than just charity - it's answering a direct call from God.
Outside a clinic at DC General Hospital, Minister William Rucker of the Life Center Church in Camp Springs, Maryland, slides open the glass doors and commences the second annual 10,000 Book Bag Giveaway.
Hundreds of families braved the heat and sun to wait in line for hours for free book bags and school supplies before the new school year begins.
Minister Rucker says the church Pastor came up with the idea after receiving a divine vision. "It's nothing all spooky, you know, or nothing like that. It's just God laid it on his heart to do it and he went forth and did it."
Rucker says he's surprised that so-called mega churches in his community which are well funded don't have the same commitment to helping the needy.
"I believe every church should have an outreach community. I believe every church should have an evangelistic movement where they go outside the four walls of their church and do things like this".
Candice Bennet came from Washington's Ward 7 neighborhood. She says without today's help she'd have to spend a hundred dollars or more for her children's school supplies.
"We save a lot, we save a lot. It helps going and buying it. It do, it do."
DC Councilman Kwame Brown helped organize the event and says next year he hopes the group can call this the 20,000 Book Bag Giveaway.
Mana Rabiee reports...