People look through children’s coats at the 2011 Winter Clothing Giveaway. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
The sixth annual Winter Clothing Giveaway, organized by the Church of Christ in Huron, will be held Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the National Guard Armory in Huron on Third Street on the State Fairgrounds.
Once again, more than 50 volunteers from Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota and Minnesota will be making their way to Huron Wednesday to begin setting up for this awesome event to provide winter clothing, coats and blankets to children in need in Beadle County.
The giveaway, which started in 2007, quickly outgrew the church building at 1508 Wisconsin Ave. S.W., and has helped 850 families, clothing more than 3,700 children.
“Not bad for a small congregation of 15 folks,” said Timmy Walker, minister for the church. “Dynamite does come in small packages.”
Walker’s wife, Samantha, came up with the idea five years ago from her experience being a foster mom and helping in the public school system. She saw many children, in the dead of winter, walking around without proper clothing and said that many didn’t have socks, a warm coat, gloves, hats or boots. The mother of four sons knows how hard it is trying to clothe one’s children. This effort focuses upon those that fall through the cracks, those that make too much money for government assistance, yet not enough to purchase necessary items for their children.
Walker said, “Many of these families are good folks who are trying. They just need a little help and as the church we aim to take care of that. We’re all stewards of God’s blessings and while helping folks throughout our world is needed and good, not taking care of those in our home first is a sad commentary upon our stewardship.”
Walker said it reminds him of a comment in James 2:16. “Intentions aren’t worth the thought if they are simply intentions alone.”
“So our congregation has picked up the ball and ran with it,” Walker stated.
Setup begins Wednesday, when the largest load of coats and clothing ever will arrive. A 53-foot trailer loaded with 3,000 brand new blankets, 1,000 new coats, thousands of new socks, gloves, hoodies, scarves, hats and blue jeans along with thousands of baby items.
The workers will meet at the Armory each morning at 8 a.m. to begin the sorting and set-up process. Both girls’ and boys’ sections are organized by age. Coats, hats, scarves, socks and blankets have their own areas. Each day Samantha leads the kitchen crew in cooking dinner and supper for the volunteers.
Walker said, “Feeding 75 folks each day is a chore, but one Samantha does with grateful heart and tons of love.”
On Saturday evening after the giveaway is over, the church holds a huge fish fry for all the workers. Sunday service followed by a Southern barbecue meal with all the trimmings is offered at the Armory for all who wish to attend. “We offer classes for all ages,” said Walker. This year’s theme is, “Loving our neighbors as ourselves.”
“Our giveaway works on the honor system,” Walker explained. “If you or anyone you know is in need, please come see us. We do not want your financial information, we only want folks who are in need.”
If any children are in need of winter clothing, please make plans to attend this free event. There are no obligations or financial information needed. Volunteers are simply looking to help those in need. This is a countywide invitation. No one in need will be turned down.
All clothing is for children birth through 18 years old. The majority of clothing and blankets are new or gently used and some are handmade. Clothing available includes coats, gloves, socks, stocking caps, jeans, sweaters, hoodies, blankets and baby clothing. For more information, call Walker at 350-5417.
“Please make plans to attend this year,” Walker finished. “Please give us the opportunity to serve you.”
For the complete article see the 09-30-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-30-2012 paper.