Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Join Hands Day

Saturday we held an event at the church called "Join Hands Day" or "Manos Unidas." Join Hands Day is sponsored by fraternal benefit socities to encourage their members to volunteer and encourage youth and adults to work together. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans sponsored ours (with $500). We invited community members and area churches to participate. While a few other individuals came to help, the majority of the volunteers were the people who come to the mission every Saturday to clean or help with whatever needs to be done.

On this particular day, we made food baskets and school kits. We used the $500 from Thrivent Financial to buy lunch for the volunteers as well as supplement the food that we had available for the food baskets. Mission staff/volunteers were able to get bulk flour, sugar, rice, and beans donated from Cisco (good job Chris!) and produce bags to break the bulk products down into from local grocery stores like Zeke's, Ranch Market, and Walmart. Walmart also gave us a $50 gift card for event related purchases. Another important donor was Orphan Grain Train who brought a semi last week. Although this shipment didn't have very much food, we were able to use all of what was included. We also had some things that we were able to purchase at a reduced cost from the West Texas Food Bank (milk, tomatoes, bread) that helped round out the baskets.

Here are the volunteers breaking the bulk items down into smaller portions. (Notice J hanging out in the stroller at the top right of the tables....he was content just watching all of the action)
Here are volunteers beginning to assemble the food baskets inside the warehouse. The white boxes you see are pre-packaged meal kits that we recieved from Orphan Grain Train.

As the baskets were assembled they were set out on the ground. We got a count while putting them away in the warehouse. Of course, about half of them were given out that same day so the warehouse is pretty empty again!
Here volunteers are assembling the school kits. We will distribute these in August before the kids head back to school. We still need A LOT more school supplies and backpacks to meet the need for the number of kids we normally distribute to.

I didn't get any pictures of the lunch - hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad....but it was GOOD!

Join Hands Day has been bigger in the past. This year we had a lot of volunteers but not as much food as we have in the past. But, all in all it was a successful day. This event is just another reminder for me that God pulls all things together. The way the various donations and partners pulled together to make what was accomplished possible was yet another example of God's hand at work providing for His people.

130 volunteers served

273.5 hours making

250 food baskets and

200 school kits

1 comment:

  1. how long before you are going to distribute back packs? i would like to help if at all possible? what can i help with? back packs? pencils? paper? crayons? rulers? you know how to get a hold of me!