Christian Service Center Holds Open House, Ready to Serve Abilene

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - It's a project that has been 16 months in the making. Christian Service Center has opened their doors to help the community of Abilene. After a fire destroyed their building last year, and a few road blocks during the renovation of their new building, the organization held their open house Monday. Volunteers, officials and members of the Abilene community had the chance to learn more about the mission of Christian Service Center and what this new location will offer.

Crystal Salazar says she was less fortunate as a child and she didn't have it easy, but there was one place that always cheered her up.

"Mama was struggling at times," she said. "Couldn't pay the bills and stuff like that. We would come to Christian Service Center and get clothing and that was the best day of our lives."

Now, Crystal is a volunteer. She helps sort donations and she says she wouldn't be where she is today without the help of Christian Service Center.

"I can give my heart and my lvoe the community that might need me," Salazar said.

"Christian Service Center started back in 1965 when a few people heard a message about God's care for the poor," Director Jim Clark says. "So, they started in an old motel in downtown Abilene, a clothing closet."

Over the years, they've continued to help those in need in Abilene. That generosity was reciprocated when their building was destroyed in a fire.

"All of our buildings, except one metal building burned down," Clark remembers. "It was a very sad day for staff, volunteers, for the board. Yet, God is soo good, within one month of that fire, we were up and running again."

Now, they are opening the doors to a bigger building that will provide more services to those in Abilene.

"With this additional space, we hope to help people with more than just relief," Clark says. "That is, we want to help people who want to get out of poverty learn about the resources in Abilene. Representatives can come and help people get kind of a hand up and not a hand out."

The new Christian Service Center is located on the 3100 block of North 10th Street.

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