ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With November each year comes daylight savings. Now, the days are little bit darker and colder. While it’s easy for some to simply put on a jacket as they head out the door, many other Abilene residents face financial hardships, making access to a warm coat unpredictable. As part of our annual Jackets for Joy campaign, we speak with a recipient to better understand how the act of donating gently used jackets can have a lasting positive impact.
For Jackets for Joy coat recipient, Brock Broyles, life hasn’t always been easy.
“I actually had a good job, a home, my family all together, but I had lost a lot of my home and my family due to my past,” said Broyles.
Recounting acts of kindness Broyles’ received from others, he added, “It feels like it might be a small token of appreciation or a small token of love, but it’s really a big appreciation and love.”
As a recipient of a gently used winter jacket, Broyles’ words serve as a testament to the warmth and compassion of communities.
“It made me feel less anxious and more comforted that I’m not going to have to freeze during the cold winter,” Broyles revealed.
Brock is just one of about 10,000 people in the Big Country that the Christian Service Center helps each year. Jim Clark, executive director of the Christian Service Center, told KTAB/KRBC, “When the cold weather hits, people come in quickly. They need a heater, they need a blanket, or they need a winter coat.”
Clark continued on to explain how various life obstacles may bring people to the center, and Christian Service Center helps close the gap for those in need. He said some work full time bug just can’t quite afford even a thrift store coat when they need food more, or clothes for children.
Although donating a winter coat may seem like a simple act, it has a profound impact on the recipients, Clark insisted.
“That was really gratifying; to see people come back and say, ‘hey, God used you to help me recover, get my job back, or my family back. It’s pretty cool,'” detailed Clark.
Volunteer for the Jackets for Joy program, Chris Lana told KTAB/KRBC she wanted to emphasize the importance of these donations, “These jackets give a lot of joy to a lot of people.”
Lana volunteers at the Christian Service Center, sorting gently used jackets, and said the variety of coats donated in allows recipients to choose one that not only fits best, but one that suits their personality or style.
In the end, a simple jacket warms the hearts of Brock and many others in the Big Country.
“They make us feel like we’re not abandoned, we’re not lost; we’re loved,” Broyles concluded.
KTAB/KRBC is hosting a Jackets for Joy drive, aiming to help one jacket at a time. You can donate gently used jackets and coats to those in West Texas who may need them. They can be dropped off at any A-Town Cleaners or First Bank Texas.