ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene nonprofit Love & Care Ministries is currently seeing a major influx of new faces coming for help, leading the non-profit to expand clothing services.
Vamell Allgood, an employee in the giveaway area at Love & Care Ministries, said she loves working at her job to help all people, but it is especially impactful to her when people come in for the first time.
“They’re confused. They don’t know what they can get, and then when we tell them, ‘Yes, you may have two pair of pants, and it brings them to tears,” Allgood explained.
She said she has seen more new faces recently than ever before.
In fact, Executive Director Mark Hewitt said they saw an influx in the summer of 2022, but it was nothing compared to the amount of new people they have seen from September to now.
“I don’t know if a can say a percentage off the top of my head. I just know it’s a lot,” said Hewitt.
He believes more people in Abilene are reaching out for help because of higher costs, but also that people experiencing homeless are traveling south because of the cold weather.
“First, I believe what the word says, it says the poor will always be with you, and so I believe that. Number two, I think if the world continues to get tougher as it goes, it’s going to get harder on people,” Hewitt explained.
Due to this increase in clients, or as Love & Care Ministries call them, friends, the non-profit is expanding clothing services.
The organization used to have one room to pick up donations, but now, those experiencing homelessness will have a room to pick up donations and families in poverty will have a room. This will allow more room for extra items that were donated.
“We’re just trying to expand for the future. As we grow, we expand,” Hewitt explained.
The non-profit will offer more room for growth, so people like Allgood can give more items to those in need.
“You can change their day by giving them some perfume,” Allgood expressed. “We don’t ask for anything in return. All we do is give.”
Even though they have been given lots of donations, they still need more, and Hewitt said they are in dire need of men’s clothing since those items are donated the least.
Love & Care Ministries is planning to open the two clothing rooms in about two weeks.