What was the end result? More than 6,000 volunteers delivered Thanksgiving food to 6,083 families representing 25,869 people.
One year ago, the Mission Arlington® team began getting ready for Thanksgiving day. As food donations came in throughout the year, we identified and separated out Thanksgiving food and set it aside.
As summer turned into Fall, Thanksgiving donations from the community began to trickle in – turkeys and Thanksgiving food. We never cease to be amazed at the generosity and the support of this community. When our Fall Festival finished at the end of October, our thoughts and efforts turned in earnest toward Thanksgiving Day. Individuals, families, and teams of all kinds collected food, then brought it to us. Those same teams, along with many others helped us to sort the food and build more than 5,000 boxes for delivery.
On Thanksgiving morning the day was cool and clear. Early in the day, our team arrived early to move the trucks into place for the day. By 5:00 a.m., the rest of the staff arrived to finish the preparations. By 7:30, when volunteers began arriving, we were ready.
More than 6,000 volunteers drove into downtown Arlington on a crisp, beautiful Thanksgiving morning. The energy and enthusiasm of the people – young and old, newcomers, and some who had been doing this for years – was palpable. Laughter was in the air. Tillie spoke to the group, then led those close enough to hear in a prayer of Thanksgiving for the day.
What was the end result? More than 6,000 volunteers delivered Thanksgiving food to 6,083 families representing 25,869 people.
As many of you left for the day, you called out “Thanks for the blessing,” hardly recognizing your own role in the efforts to bless others. Again and again, you affirmed the truth that we are more blessed when we give than when we receive.
As we closed the doors on the day and headed out to our own Thanksgiving meals, the image was strong – of families all across our community sitting around their kitchen tables, enjoying Thanksgiving with their own family, and giving thanks to God. All the glory belongs to Him.
We are thankful for the privilege of serving this community alongside each of you. We hope your own Thanksgiving was truly blessed.
We are grateful for our partnership with the City of Arlington and the video they produce each year for this Thanksgiving Season.
Thanksgiving Day isn’t that far away, and the Mission Arlington® family is getting ready. The community continues to drive through every hour of every day- routinely dropping off turkeys and Thanksgiving food. We are so grateful. The turkeys are being placed into freezers for a few more days, and the Thanksgiving food is being separated and placed on shelves. From these shelves of food, we are in the continual process of building Thanksgiving boxes. These boxes have everything in them that a family would want to eat with their turkey on Thanksgiving morning. These boxes are being stacked in various locations across our campus downtown, so that we can easily place them in your vehicles on Thanksgiving morning.
Bible study leaders and other volunteers have been out across the community knocking on
doors, responding to calls, and making sure that we do everything possible to connect with people who need a Thanksgiving meal. We don’t want to miss one person. Organizations with kitchens are helping us precook Thanksgiving food, prepared in advance, for individuals and families who don’t have a stove or the ability to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving morning.
Volunteers of all kinds from across our community are making their way here to lend a hand. They come early, and they come late, but they come faithfully – whether it is individuals, families, or teams of people from civic organizations, businesses, churches, or schools. Some are very young, and they come with their families. Others are past retirement age, but want to give back. Our community is so tenderly focused on helping others that the excitement and energy around Mission Arlington® is not only palpable, but it feels great! This past Saturday, 867 people (children, teens, college students, and adults) came with their team to get us ready for Thanksgiving morning. Many individuals and families were here too in addition to the teams. We were able to get so much done, and the wonderful support is continuing each day as Thanksgiving gets closer.
Individuals, volunteers, and teams are calling every day, letting us know that they will be here on Thanksgiving Day to help. Again, we are grateful. Last year, it took 6,000 volunteers to help us feed 6,000 families (25,000+) people. From the volume of requests, it looks like the Lord will help us provide food to as many families and more on this coming Thanksgiving Day. We are hopeful that we will have your strong support on Thanksgiving morning.
These are amazing days of preparation at Mission Arlington®. We are so very grateful for you.
Mission Arlington’s Fall Festival was once again a tremendous success. More than 3,000 children (including their families) were transported by Mission Arlington® Fall Festival volunteers, or walked there from the surrounding neighborhoods to a great day of fun.
Anywhere you walked throughout the day, you could hear children laughing. You could see parents smiling. You could see volunteers, like the firefighters who bring their truck every year, enjoying the children – who in turn – were enjoying the firetruck and the firefighters.
Tall, short, big, and little bouncy houses were everywhere. Kids were climbing, sliding, and bouncing. The hotdogs, chips, and cold water “hit the spot,” and the carnival games (including prizes) were the epitome of indoor fun. Children got their faces painted, caught fish on a string, rolled bowling balls, and threw bean bags through cut out holes brightly painted boards. It was so much fun for everyone.
Bible study leaders brought their children in vans and big buses. The Dan Dipert Travel donated the buses, and came from all over the city just to enjoy driving the children from home to the Festival and back.
Thanks to each parent who brought their children, and to every volunteer who gave their time. Thanks to each of you who give to Mission Arlington® so that funds existed to rent the bouncy houses. Thank you to Grace Street Fellowship for co-hosting the event, and for every church that brought their youth to serve and every group who brought their teams to help.
One child was overheard telling his parent that “this was the best thing we’ve ever done!” We think so too!
A Healthy, Wholesome Experience for Children
Last year, 3,000 children attended the festival. Moms & dads bring them, and though it isn’t required, many of them are dressed in bright and creative costumes. It is so much fun to see.
The event is both indoors and out, and the kids do a lot of walking, so the event has a physical fitness component built right in. The food is good, the prizes unending, and the bouncy houses and hay rides are lots of fun. Think about it. With a few thousand children, enjoying time with their parents, all for free – the smiles you will see are everywhere. It is so much fun.
Preparation is Underway
The fences are going up, and the grounds are being cleared of twigs and leaves. Vans and buses have been donated and drivers enlisted, “giant bouncy houses” ordered, and and over 3,000 bags of candy have been sacked – with more on the way. Invitations are out, far and wide, and initial indications are that the Fall Festival happening this Saturday (October 29th) from noon to 4 will be well attended. It is a wonderfully fun “alternative to Halloween” event, and it is free.
A Free Event
Sometimes it is difficult to believe, because we all know the old adage “Nothing is free!” Yet this event is – from the bouncy houses to the hay rides, to the carnival giveaways to the candy, there is “no charge” for anyone who wants to attend. Every service Mission Arlington® provides is “free of charge,” and this event isn’t any different.
What are the details?
The Fall Festival happens this Saturday morning, October 29th, from noon to 4 p.m. behind Grace Street Fellowship, located at 1516 W. Pioneer Pkwy. The event is open to the public and free. If you or your team would like to volunteer at this event, call us at 817-277-6620, or drop us a note here. Mission Arlington® continues to accept individually wrapped bags of candy through October 31st.
Please keep this event in your prayers this weekend.
We are grateful for your support.
The Fall Festival is free, and it is great fun for families!
Mission Arlington’s annual Fall Festival is around the corner. This is a free event designed as a family-friendly alternative to Halloween-oriented activities. We are working on the set-up now, but it all comes together on Saturday, October 29th, from Noon to 4:00 p.m.
The event is free, and open to the community. Children come with their families. Mission Arlington® Bible study leaders will pick up and transport their children to and from the event (permission slips required). Many children wear costumes and many don’t. Either way is great with us, and whether in fun costumes or normal clothing, CHILDREN ALWAYS HAVE FUN! No scary costumes, please.
Children who attend this event will enjoy bouncy houses, a hay ride, a huge carnival filled with prizes, and a hot lunch cooked and served by Mission Arlington® volunteers.
We need volunteers!
- Individuals, families, and/or teams are needed as volunteers for this event;
- Times to help: You can help between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The actual festival happens from noon to 4 p.m., but we also need help for set-up and clean up.
- Volunteer areas: Volunteers assist in many different areas throughout the day – from carnival booths, to serving food, to hay rides, and so much more.
- Please call Jim at 817-704-6143 if you or your team would like to volunteer.
We need candy, please!
Every child who attends will receive a free bag of candy. We are currently collecting individually wrapped bags of candy for this event. Please drop the candy by the Mission Offices anytime up through Saturday, October 29th, and we will take it to the festival for the kids.
This carnival is truly a lot of fun. Last year nearly 3,000 children with their families join in. We are looking forward to another great carnival this year. Please keep this event in your prayers.
For more information about the festival, click here!
Baseball is a gift to children and youth in our community who might otherwise not have an opportunity to play.
In addition to exercise, and the development of athletic skills, being on a sports team promotes teamwork, good sportsmanship, and helps the children to develop interpersonal skills which will benefit them for much longer than the event itself.
Beginning today, Saturday, October 1st, and lasting through the next four Saturdays, starting at 10:00 a.m., Mission Arlington’s Hunter’s Field will be active again.
Volunteer coaches will take the field with a children and youth from our Bible studies. They will learn the “ins and outs” of baseball, learn more about the Lord, and best of all, they will have a good time.
At each academy in the short time this field has been open, at least one or two of the children ask their Bible study leader if someone from the Texas Rangers will be coming to watch them. 🙂
Baseball is a lot of fun. We are grateful for each person and every group who helped to make it possible.
The Communities Foundation of Texas, located in Dallas, has a two-fold purpose – to “help donors get the most from their giving,” and “to connect them with community needs.” They’ve been in the business of doing just that since 1953. In line with their heart for the welfare of the community, the Foundation started the North Texas Giving Day in 2009, which, according to their website, is the first and the largest community-wide giving day in the country.
The Foundation chooses one day in the Fall of each year and calls it the “North Texas Giving Day.” Supported by multiple community sponsors and media outlets, the Foundation adds a percentage of money to each nonprofit based on the gifts they received through the website on that day. Though the numbers aren’t verified or final yet, early indications are that $37 million dollars was raised yesterday through 142,000 gifts which benefitted more than 2,500 local nonprofits.
The Mission Arlington® family, dependent on prayer, and generally hesitant about fundraising or marketing efforts, was encouraged to participate by many who loved us and the work here. Because of the way you have cheered us on, prayed, and provided your support over the last couple of years, this event has become very special to us.
Each year, new people find us and begin a new connection here. At the same time, there are many old friends who drop by to provide support, or to give a little extra as we get ready to go into the holidays. There are many local groups of leaders from the Arlington City Council to the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, to the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation, the Levitt Pavilion, and so many more who became cheerleaders for all Arlington nonprofits as the day unfolded. Yesterday, 164 people gave, contributing more than $65,000 to provide support to the ministry here.
We want you to know how meaningful your notes, phone calls, and contributions have been through these days. We are truly grateful for the way this community surrounds us, as we stand in the gap for people in need. At Mission Arlington® this means that our hope and our heart is to provide not only for the physical needs, but the emotional and spiritual needs as well.
You have encouraged us personally, and in our work, and for that, and for so much more, we say “Thank you!”
You Can Provide Financial Strength
On September 22nd, you can provide financial support to people in need through the ministry of Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex®.
From 6:00 a.m. to midnight on September 22nd, your gift through the North Texas Day of Giving LINK goes farther in helping the people of our community through the ministry here.
In 2016, more than 95,000 people have received food, clothes, furniture, and emergency financial assistance through the ministry of Mission Arlington®. Simply put, your gift on this day through the link provided here will go farther and have a bigger impact. Our administrative overhead continues to be a very low 3.2 percent. This means that almost 97 cents out of every dollars directly reaches people in need. We appreciate your support all year long so much. When you give in this way on September 22nd, you gift goes a little farther.
Personal Impact – social media comments from this summer
- Don – “God bless Mission Arlington®. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
- Dalana –
- “I have seen the day I needed their help and now with God’s help I have been able to return and donate to help others.”
- “They give food to the hungry and clothes to the needy”
- “They “offer dental and medical care for those in need who don’t have money or insurance.”
- “Their mission is reach as many people as possible to show and teach God’s love for all.”
- Dietrich “I love this place! Back to school supplies GALORE!
- April – “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
- Janaan – “God led me to Miss Tillie and Mission Arlington®. My life forever changed 28 years ago! May God continue to bring those that need to learn of God’s love to the mission!”
Arlington Gives – Come join us as we celebrate.
Come join the Mission Arlington® family at the Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., directly across from our campus at 210 W. South St. This is a free community event for all Arlington nonprofits which will include musical performances, and entertainment, food trucks, and other activities. We hope to see you there.
We provide food for families every day!
Sometimes, it is difficult for us to comprehend what it would be like not to have enough food for our family. Unfortunately, too many in our community don’t have to imagine what it would be like, because they know. It is a reality in their everyday lives.
A job loss, a hospitalization, or the unexpected breakup of a relationship, is what most often brings families to our front door. Below, we’ve provided for you a report which lists the numbers of people coming through our front door for help. These numbers are limited to just those coming through our front doors. It does not reflect those who are cared for through other ministries, such as our medical and dental clinics.
Here are the number of people helped so far this year!
|Number of Families||25,251|
|Number of People||91,490|
|People per day||478|
|People per day in August||605|
|How much food||Multiple-day supply based on the need and on family size|
We are so thankful for you!
We are here to help, because you give. As we move into the fall, and begin the march towards Thanksgiving, we want to say “thank you” again and again. You are making a difference here.