By Kelsi Williamson, Student Reporter
Abilene citizens showed their support for the community during Love and Care Ministries’ annual Mission Thanksgiving on Nov. 22-23 at Arrow Ford. The fundraiser collected food, clothes, and monetary funds for Love and Care’s programs.
Terry Davis, Love and Care’s director of administration, gave positive results for the event.
“It was an incredibly strong fundraiser even in lieu of the economic times we are sitting in,” Davis said. “You would have thought we would have taken a hit.”
Davis said 5,500 cars were moved through the Arrow Ford parking lot in a 12-hour period on Nov. 22. He also said 11 trailers were filled with donations, and $150,000 was raised between all donations and sponsors.
“Financially, it was better than it has ever been,” Davis said.
He said the fundraiser provides the Abilene community a way to feel involved, even if it just means dropping off a bag of clothing or food. Davis estimated that between 400 and 500 volunteers helped with Mission Thanksgiving, including many ACU students.
“We always have a strong involvement of ACU students,” Davis said.
Beki Hamilton, sophomore integrated marketing and communication major from Katy, participated in the fundraiser.
“Love and Care does a lot for Abilene,” Hamilton said. “They have a big impact on the Abilene community, and I enjoyed being a part of their ministry.”
Hamilton helped other volunteers unload contributions from cars into shopping carts and then sort the donations into the correct trailer. She said the trailers were organized by various items, including clothing, blankets, toiletries and toys.
Jessica White, junior psychology major from Knox City, participated in Mission Thanksgiving. She helped unload boxes and bags of donated clothes at Love and Care on the second day of the fundraiser.
“It was nice to see all those clothes being put in the warehouse,” White said. She said the community enthusiastically worked to unload at least three trailers.
“I enjoyed seeing the community get together and work together for a common purpose,” White said. “It seemed like everyone was happy to be there and volunteering.”
Davis said the donations from Mission Thanksgiving should supply Love and Care with enough clothing for eight months and enough food for 3 three months to give to those in need in Abilene.
“It’s a huge boost to our ability to serve our community,” Davis said.
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