Sunday, November 19, 2006

Austin Street update

Well, after all the prayers and planning, the encounter Thanksgiving Coat Drive was a huge success in my opinion.
We had well over 20 boxes full of coats, shirts, pants and blankets.
Thank you so much encounter and Waxahachie and everyone else who donated.
I believe we had nearly 4 full truck loads of clothes and such to take to the men and women at the Austin Street Shelter in downtown Dallas.
And while that was utterly amazing, I think we easily had 30-40 volunteers come down with us today from encounter, along with probably just as many from Brittney’s church in Canton.
Everyone was so thankful and gracious.
We easily gave out all our blankets and men’s clothing.
We did our best to find uses for all the kid’s and women’s clothing with those living on the streets around Austin Street and for the women’s and children’s clothes that didn’t find a home on Austin Street, they were all taken to a battered women’s shelter in Kaufman.
Everyone I talked with had a great time and many first-timers said they can’t wait to go back.
I think Matt easily cleaned out any and all personal things in his truck just so he could fill a need for another individual.
One of the more interesting conversations I heard about today was when Phil was making his way up and down the line of people gathered outside Austin Street to be sure everyone got a coat.
He saw a man sitting there with a few belongings and an apparently new pair of socks.
He asked him if he got a coat or needed one.
The man replied, “I got me a new pair of socks. That’s all I need.”
Phil pointed out that he’s never had anyone ask for money. No one’s ever caused any real problem when we’ve come down there. They’re just often men, women and families that have fallen upon hard times.
There are still other needs at Austin Street and we’re still going to continue going.
It’s interesting to think that while Jesus tells His followers to care for the hurting, hungry and poor, He also reminds us that the poor will always be with us.
No social program, no church program, no amount of money is going to take it away. There will always be the poor among us – which means there will always be a way to serve.
If you’re still interested in being a part of this ministry or making a donation, here are some things they guys mentioned they are still needing:
  • Bibles
  • socks
  • long underwear
  • pants, shirts and underwear for larger men (XL, XXL)
  • reading materials
  • reading glasses/ magnifying glasses
    If you would like to donate any or all of these things, please zip me an e-mail or call me. I’d be glad to let you know how you can get involved.
    We’ll also still accept coats and blankets for men, women and children.
    There were a number of men who walked up well after all the warm clothes that might have fit them were gone and we’d love to be able to help them as well.
    Thanks again for all your prayers and support. I have a feeling people were touched today with God’s love thanks to your willingness to help and serve.
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