Hosted by: Love & Care Ministries
November 20, 2020
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In 1999, Arrow Dealerships met with Pastor Mark Hewitt of Love and Care Ministries regarding his ministry for the poor and homeless in the Abilene area. Arrow realized that it could easily make an impact as a community leader in educating the public regarding this program and raise public awareness. The location of their main Arrow Ford store could be used to increase the volunteer base and donation of clothing, bedding, money and food. There was great potential to hold an event to accomplish their objectives for Love and Care ministries. Year after year, Mission Thanksgiving is more successful than the last. In 1999, our first Mission Thanksgiving filled 1.5 trailers and raised $6,000 with all types of canned goods and clothing. Now, here we are in 2020 and the event has grown tremendously having collected 13 semi-trailers of clothing and food and raising over $200,000 in 2019.
Mission Thanksgiving is a chance for the community of Abilene and Big Country to band together in hopes of aiding Love and Care Ministries in helping the homeless and poor of Abilene. Each November for the past twenty-one years, Mission Thanksgiving has benefited the homeless and poor in tremendous ways. Not only has it provided necessities such as food and clothing, Mission Thanksgiving has supplied the necessary monetary donations to help continue the Soup Kitchen that is open 5 days a week, as of 2019 the Soup Kitchen is serving over 4,000 hot meals a week. In addition to helping fund the development of two facilities in the rule communities of Merkel and Clyde.
Last year alone, we received 13 semi-trailers full of clothing, non-perishable, blankets, sleeping bags, coats, bottled water and drinks, shoes, socks, and hygiene items. In addition, over $200,000 was raised, with thousands of vehicles driving through Arrow Ford to donate in just one day. There was also a $65,000 Pepsi product donation. In spite of the overwhelming response, all donations collected for 2019 were distributed within 11 months. This is an incredible gift each year for Love and Care, the homeless, and the poor of Abilene.
Within just 43¢, Love and Care Ministries can create 1 sack lunch. $10 is enough to feed 24 people and $500 can make 1,162 meals! Even the smallest donations can help make a difference in theses people's lives.
There are an estimated 400+ residential homeless people in Abilene, and about 300+ more transient homeless travel through Abilene each year. Children make up 10%-15% of these numbers, which do not include the poor who benefit from the food and clothing services. That said, it is obvious just how many people benefit from drives like Mission Thanksgiving.
Parents and children are invited and encouraged to get involved.
No one has signed up yet, but you could be the first!