Hill Country District’s annual Lenten collection officially began Ash Wednesday, March 6. We invite & encourage your church to catch up. We collect wearable used clothes until our partners, the Seventh-day Adventists, send their trucks to collect our collections. This year, the trucks should come the week of April 8-12 to have your space cleared out before the run-up to Easter. The exact schedule will depend on which churches participate and how much each collects. Yes, they can accept hats, belts, and shoes. No, they cannot take swimsuits or used underwear.
Once they have the clothes we collect, the Adventists take it to their warehouse at Alvarado where it is sorted, sanitized, packaged, and stored until there is a disaster requiring used clothing, then they load their semi and have it parked outside the shelter door in the morning when survivors wake up. The Adventists are nationally known for this disaster ministry, and they tell us the Hill Country District’s collection gives them the most and highest quality clothing of any they have all year.
Why not just wait for a disaster to collect? Because by then it’s too late. The post-disaster need for used clothing lasts only 24-48 hours. After that, survivors usually can acquire new. There are exceptions, of course, and the Adventists are prepared for that. There also is a difference between survivors who NEED free clothing and those who merely WANT it. NEEDS are short-lived in this case; WANTS are always there. By the time a local church can decide to launch a clothing collection, and run the campaign, then deliver the bags to the disaster area, the NEED is over, and the bags of mixed dirty clothes are just more trash for the landfill. That way doesn’t work. Ours does.
More information will be forthcoming. The more churches we have participating, the more good we can do.
Any church in the Rio Texas Conference is welcome to participate. This is the contact information or you can contact Pam at the Hill Country District Office, 830-896-6400, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Pam Elliott