BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- For many years, the Salvation Army Service Center has been a reliable place for residents of Brown and surrounding counties to get a daily meal, and even some financial assistance. With the departure of the centers most recent director, its doors had to be closed.
“I didn’t really need another hat to wear, but man, if it can help get this back up and going and get people fed again, we’re gonna do it,” Interim director, Pastor Kelly Crenshaw, said.
Crenshaw had previously brought men from the Brown house of refuge, which he runs, to volunteer at the Salvation Army. After two months with the doors closed, he and his wife Donna stepped in to fill the need.
“There were people that, that might be the only meal they got that day,” Crenshaw explained.
It was by chance that he came to the closed center one day and spoke with a Salvation Army official, who was visiting from Dallas. That conversation led to his current position as Interim Director.
“Kelly honestly had talked before about what are we going to do about the salvation army,” Donna said.
After only a few weeks of repair work and preparation, the center is set to reopen Monday, May 16. The center’s reopening is a feat Crenshaw said they were able to accomplish, thanks to the giving spirit of Brownwood residents.
“So thank God for volunteers, because if that was left up to me we’d be in trouble right,” Crenshaw chuckled.
Crenshaw called a volunteer meeting Monday, to gauge public interest in helping out. It was a call that received a little more attention than what he had anticipated.
“Oh yeah, it actually intimidated me,” Crenshaw exclaimed. “Like, ‘oh wow, I was expecting just a few.’ So now, you know, we’ve got 30 people here!”
Though the need is still great, with no local leadership left behind to show them the ropes, the Crenshaws are working, essentially, on their own. The bright side, the Salvation Army headquarters in Dallas provided a roadmap and even hired a full time cook.
“God’s going to be there every step of the way for all of us, because we’re just kind of starting from scratch,” Donna said.
Right now, the center says it’s focused on short term needs: Getting the doors open and providing meals from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Crenshaws said they’d like to provide meals every weekday and even get back to helping with things like rent and transportation eventually.
The Crenshaws say any bit of help is appreciated and those interested in getting involved or donating can reach them at (325) 642-4096.