The semi wasn’t quite as full this year as it was last year, but the Seventh-day Adventists did have two trucks making the pickups, so the total collection was a bit larger than the last one.
The idea is to collect used clothing for disaster survivors before a disaster occurs, so the Seventh-day Adventists have time to sort, sanitize, package and store each item of clothing in their warehouse in Alvarado, TX. Then, when disaster strikes in or near Texas, they can deliver needed clothing to shelters the next morning.
The idea to do the collection in advance of need started here in Johnson City five years ago, when the First United Methodist Church did a three-day campaign. That has grown since then to include more than 20 Hill Country churches, especially in Johnson City, where participants included First Baptist, First Christian, First UMC, Good Shepherd Catholic, and Trinity Lutheran churches — plus the Red Door resale shop.
“This has grown way beyond just one church or even one denomination,” said Pastor Lee Romero at First United Methodist Church, Johnson City. “And that’s as it should be. The need is too great for one to do alone, and no storm victim has ever asked which church gave them the clean shirt they’re putting on.”
The beneficiaries of people’s generosity include survivors of fires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, and not just in Texas. The Adventists’ trucks have carried donations as far as New York following 2012 Hurricane Sandy.
“This past year, most of your clothes went to Louisiana,” recalled driver Dale Janes. “We made many trips over there for the terrible flooding they had across south Louisiana, and then again when the tornado went through New Orleans.”
The Adventists remarked that of all their collections, this is the one that consistently produces the most clothing, as well as the highest quality.
The trailer also made stops at Rio Texas Churches Center Point UMC and Boerne UMC (pictured above).
Other Rio Texas churches participating in this year's drive:
- Bertram UMC
- Boerne FUMC
- Medina Valley UMC, Castroville
- Center Point UMC
- Gaddis Memorial UMC, Comfort
- Fredericksburg UMC
- Highland Lakes UMC
- Hondo UMC
- Johnson City FUMC
- St. Paul UMC, Kerrville
- Lakehills UMC
- Northshore UMC
- San Marcos FUMC
- Wimberley UMC
- Yancey UMC
- St Luke UMC, Austin
- Burnet FUMC
- Cross Tracks UMC, Liberty Hill
It is, appropriately for a church-based campaign, a marriage made in heaven.
The following article was written by Mr. George Barnette