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.
summer was full, and so meaningful. From summer camps to baseball, Rainbow Express® , summer programs, summer lunches, revivals, school supplies, and so many other spiritual events for children and youth. Our congregations were especially active too. It was certainly a summer to remember.
Now, as fall arrives, and as the weather begins to cool a few degrees, and all the students are back in school, Mission Arlington® enters into a new season. In many ways, not that much has changed. We still have hundreds of people coming in through our front doors in need of emergency assistance. The wonderful community surrounding us continues to drop off (or have us pick up) furniture, and we keep giving it away. Our medical and dental clinics are busy with volunteer doctors and dentists using their skills and giving their time to help ordinary, every-day people in need. Yet, in another way, we experience a shift.
We still do what we do every day, but we also begin looking forward to a few of the fun events which are ahead. For example, our Fall Festival happens on October 29th (from noon to 4). This means that 2,000 children will come in brightly dressed costumes and even brighter smiles. Bouncy houses, hay rides, great food, and a huge carnival with plenty of giveaways. What encourages us and feels so good about this event is to see families enjoying it with their children, and also to have so many community volunteers who step in to help.
After the Fall Festival, the Thanksgiving season begins in earnest. Individuals, families, and groups of all shapes and sizes arrive to help us prepare for the huge task which is a Mission Arlington®. thanksgiving. Thanksgiving food has to be separated, packaged, and stored for delivery. Turkeys are placed in storage, ready to be thawed at the right moment, and it is extraordinary to watch the generosity of the community as turkeys begin to pour in.
The moment Thanksgiving is behind us, the “Christmas Store“ comes into view. Of course, Christmas for us involves adoption of families, and so much care for people beyond what just happens in the store. When the Store opens, however, (December 10-23, excluding Sundays, from 10 to 6 every day), the excitement around here surges. When December 26th rolls around, more than 32,000 children will have received gifts, the Christmas story will have been told in multiple languages, and many people will have started a new relationship, or renewed their old relationship, with our Lord.
In all of this, now for 30 years, you have continued to walk the journey with us. We are so very grateful for all you do in this place. We know that many of you stop to pray for us at 10:00 every morning, and others pray, give, and help every chance that they get. We want to be faithful to our Lord first and foremost, but also to you as you walk this journey with us. We are excited about what the Lord has for us just around the corner.
Thank you for walking this journey with us.
The summer is generally one of our busiest seasons, and 2016 was no exception. From Rainbow Express® to revivals, to summer camps, we certainly stayed busy.
The fast-paced work of a Mission Arlington® summer demonstrates how much can done when a community comes together. It doesn’t take much inspection to see that the fruit is evident.
You can see for yourself some of the results below:
- Camps: We hosted 7 free camps for 1,377 children and youth.
- Revivals: 12 sets of revival services across our community with 1 more to go.
- Rainbow Express® 28,668 children and youth attended Rainbow Express® this year in 401 locations across our community. 736 people accepted Christ;
- Student Groups: 4,867 students from 161 different church groups came to Arlington to help with Rainbow Express® this spring and summer;
- Summer lunches: We served free lunches in five locations across Arlington for children and youth without family resources for this meal. We did this for two months over the summer;
- Summer Missionaries: 30 college students served here for the summer;
In addition to these special events, we continued to provide food, clothing, medical & dental support, sports ministries, and so much more – each and every day.
We are so grateful for the privilege of walking this journey with you. Thank you so much for everything you did this summer to volunteer, give, and pray. It truly was a sweet season.
In an interview with NBC 5 early this morning, Tillie Burgin reminds the viewers that “no parent wants their child to be different” or “not have what they need to start school.” Every child deserves to have the tools they need to be successful. As we move closer to the start of a new school year, Mission Arlington’s distribution of school supplies is underway and will move into full speed next week.
School supplies are still needed and being accepted. The Mission family hopes to provide and deliver supplies to 10,000 AISD students. Your help will make such a difference. Click here to see what you can bring, and here to get more information. We hope you enjoy this (less than 1 minute) video below:
Summer missionaries are students typically between the ages of 16 and 22 who give up all or part of their summer to serve at a place like Mission Arlington®.
These students are highly motivated by their relationship to Christ, and their desire to serve Him wherever they are deployed. Sometimes, these students are placed here by a variety of student missions organizations who partner with us, and at other times, these young people come on their own.
They become an instant part of the family at Mission Arlington®, serving long hours each week in every part of our work here, and all throughout the community. These energetic, young people brought an enthusiastic and contagious spirit to their service which blessed us, and overflowed in support and service to this city we love.
Our prayer for them is that they will be challenged to grow spiritually while they are here. Here is the testimony of Jackson (a young man from Mississippi) who served with us this summer:
I just got back from a summer mission trip to Mission Arlington. It was arguably the best summer of my entire life life! I absolutely loved the work that we all did there, from teaching the gospel, to feeding hungry people, to helping those in need, to growing closer to God, It was absolutely amazing. While I was there, alongside the daily work, I met and built relationships with some of the best people I could ever imagine, Mission Arlington staff members and other summer missionaries alike, everyone there was amazing.
I’m grateful for so much more, though, than just the people, I’m so happy that I was blessed with so many opportunities to share Christ with those who hadn’t heard the message, and even personally lead a few to salvation, and while I was teaching I personally learned a lot and grew far closer to god than I thought I would over the summer. It was great, and I’m thankful to be back home to Mississippi, I’m truly blessed to have such a loving family and friends back home. All in all It’s been a truly life changing experience, and I’m so grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to serve this summer. Thanks.
You can understand why we have been so blessed by these young people. Now, as the end of summer is in sight, these young people are headed home. They will spend time with family, and then go back to serve the Lord in the place they home.
There are always more than a few tears of joy around here at this time of year, because we fall in love with these committed Christian servant leaders, and it is hard to watch them go. Most will come back again at Christmas or other times, and we will stay connected in prayer and in other ways as time moves forward. Yet, in these moments, it is hard not to miss them, or to notice the holes/gaps in ministry that they have left behind. We ask them to pray with us that local volunteers would step up to take their place.
We thank God for this enormous privilege and blessing. Thanks to each of you for walking this journey with us.
Tillie Lester grew up in Arlington, the daughter of Erman and Bonnie Lester who had moved to Arlington from East Texas in the early 1930s. The Lesters lived downtown at 104 South, just a house or two away from the intersection of South & Center. The post office down the street assigned them box 104 to match their address, and the prefix to their home phone number was listed as CR4, a common way of listing numbers in those days.
Behind Tillie’s childhood home was a small stream. There was a lumber yard in front of the home, and behind, adjacent to First Baptist Church, was an active cotton gin. Eventually First Baptist bought the Lester home and built over it. Henard East, a former pastor of the church used to tease the Lesters saying that “they had slept more in the church that anyone else.” Erman ran his full-service gulf station in two locations downtown for 45 years. The offices of Mission Arlington® today are just one block from the old homestead and gas station. The spirit of that old “service” station still permeates Mission Arlington® today.
In September of 1956 Tillie married Bob Burgin in what is now called the “East Hall” of FBC, referencing Dr. East. In those days, this space was the church sanctuary. In the mid 1960s Bob and Tillie, now with two young boys, went to Korea and ultimately served there through 1978, returning to Arlington with a newly formed question: “If you can do missions in Korea, why can’t we do it in Arlington? After 7 years of prayer, on August 1st, 1986, Mission Arlington® was born. This coming Monday, August 1st, 2016 marks our 30th anniversary. Tillie has been the team leader here for 30 years.
The heart and the hope of the Mission family is 1) to praise God for all he has done through these decades, and 2) to thank each of you for your prayers, your time, and your financial support each step of the way. The Lord has done good things here, and He has done it in his way, and in His time. We have produced a video of thanksgiving to God and for you which we hope you will watch and share over these next few days. You can connect to watch the video through this link.
Please accept our thanks, and after you have viewed the video, we would humbly request that you pause to thank our Lord, and to pray for us as we walk into the future together. We know that he is “able to do” immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephs 3:20). On our 30th birthday, we are asking our community to create a symphony of praise to the Father, and a covering of prayer for this place. May we always be faithful to His call, and to your generous support day by day over the next 30 years.
July means camps at Mission Arlington®, and it is so much fun!
The FIRST thing to know about our camps is that they are free for all children and youth who participate. Hard working families can know that their children are having a wonderful time learning about the Lord, and that it won’t put a strain on the family budget one bit. Mission Arlington’s Bible study leaders even provide transportation to and from the camps if needed.
The SECOND thing to know about our camps is that they are designed specifically for different age groups. We host a camp for younger children – from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. This camp happens Tuesday nights in July (7th, 12th, and 19th), and it’s much-loved nickname is “Kiddie Camp.” We’ve designed a second kind of camp for students who are in the 4th – 6th grade which happens on the first two consecutive saturdays in July. Finally, we sponsor a camp for 7th – 12th graders – Youth Camps – on the last two Saturdays in July.
A THIRD important understanding about these camps is is that they are a lot of fun. Outdoor games, songs with a lot of movement, great camp food, hands-on crafts, and Bible stories designed not just to teach God’s Word, so that they will know the stories of the Bible, but also to help each student know Christ personally, and to develop in their faith with Him. Our camps for children and youth, in partnership with our good friends from Camp Thurman, include zip lines, swimming pools, and a beautiful outdoor setting.
A FOURTH awareness is the Mission family’s commitment to prayer for each one of these 7 camps. We are so grateful for the creativity and dedication of each Bible study leader, driver, and partners in these weeks. The Lord prompts people’s hearts, and they respond to His loving invitation to “make a difference” through their service. As much as planning is important, and sacrificial effort on the part of many, our commitment of these camps to the Lord forms our central priority. We pray for His leadership with each of these camps, and for His love to permeate every moment. This is what we would ask of you, especially, through this month of July. Would you cover these camps in prayer? Won’t it be amazing to see – one day – perhaps not until heaven, how these small efforts were used by the Lord to change many lives for the kingdom?
FINALLY, we want you to know, and we can’t express it enough, how important your gifts, your volunteer efforts, and your prayers mean to us. We couldn’t walk this journey, now for nearly 30 years, without the constant covering God provides here because of you. Even if you are not physically at one of these 7 camps, your prayers and support brings you directly into the middle of every effort, and every student touch through this place in July.
Watch for the communications coming out in various places through the next month to stay in touch with how the camps are going.
We are grateful for you.
A Steady Supply
Every single day, numbers of individuals, families, and teams are dropping by with school supplies. Some pay for it out of their own pocket. Others lead a drive in their neighborhood, and still others find ways to communicate and/or broadcast the need, so that the supplies just keep on coming in.
The need for more supplies is still strong!
We are grateful for the way the Lord prompts people’s hearts to give, and we appreciate the sacrifices people are making every day to help students in our community start the school year just like everyone else. We expect to give the school supplies you provide to more than 9,000 students again this year. Thank you.
How you can help:
- Purchase School Supplies: Click this link to retrieve a printable list of school supplies which you can purchase and then bring to our offices downtown;
- Make an Online Donation through our website. Select the “school supplies” dropdown to designate your gift for the purchase of supplies. 100% of your gift will be used for this purchase;
- Help to organize the supplies – come on up to volunteer – by yourself, with a friend, or with an entire group of people. Individual supplies have to be organized by grade, and put into place for delivery to students. Call us at 817-277-6620 to get your time set up. Or, if you don’t have time to call, just come on down, and we’ll get you to work;
- Help deliver or hand-off school supplies to the students (this is so much fun). Here are the dates and times for the distribution: Call 817-277-6620 to bring your group for one of these times:
- Friday, August 12th (9:00 a.m. to noon);
- Saturday, August 13th (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.;
- Monday, August 15th (9:00 a.m. to noon);
- Tuesday, August 16th:
- 9:00 a.m. to noon;
- 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, August 17th (9:00 a.m. to noon);
- Thursday, August 18th:
- 9:00 a.m. to noon;
- 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Friday, August 19th (9:00 a.m. to noon);
- Saturday, August 20th (9:00 a.m. to noon);
- Monday, August 22nd – First day of school.
The Mission Arlington® Difference
The heart of the Mission Arlington® family has never been “just about” the physical items we are so privileged to give – in support of families each week. We have always believed, as Tillie, our Director, has often reminded us – that “anyone can hand out food and clothes.” Instead, our heart is to provide the kind of care and support which provides a personal and spiritual touch. Mission Arlington® volunteer teams will follow up with a huge percentage of the students and also with their families wherever there is a need.
Our Gratitude for You
We don’t know how to express our gratitude enough for all that each of you have done through this place. Many of you make personal sacrifices – in a way where no one else knows what you’ve done – just so a child can have what they need to be ok. Thank you for your financial support, your prayers, and the way your hands and feet do the important work here every day. We are grateful for you.