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Christmas is Coming!

Christmas Store 2020

Because our community gives, our Christmas Store is close to being ready for opening Day.

The Christmas Season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is in our rear-view mirror. There is so much happening that we want to share with you. First, the basic facts.

The Free Christmas Store

As you have seen published in other places, our free Christmas Store is open from December 12thDecember 22nd every day (excluding Sundays), from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The last day of the Store is December 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Mission Arlington® will be open through the day on Christmas Eve (usually closing a little early on that day), and we will be closed on Christmas Day, the only day we close all-year-long. For so many reasons, the need continues to be great this year.  You gifts of new or nearly new toys makes such a difference. (For toy drive ideas, click HERE.  For our “Amazon wish list” click HERE. You also may be interested to know what pandemic-related adjustments we’ve made this year.

What are the Pandemic-Related Adjustments this year?
  1. Two Christmas Stores – To maximize distancing, we have added a second Christmas Store this year.  Our two Christmas Stores are identical, and will operate parallel to each other. Separate stock rooms, wrapping rooms, and gift areas will operate independently, as mirror images, keeping people separated and distanced.  The number of people allowed into each of these stores at any given point will also be limited;
  2. Two Childcare Areas – We have created an outdoor space which will operate as a second child-care area, minimizing the number of children in each area.
  3. Protocols will be in place – We will be taking temperatures,, wearing masks, while keeping people socially distanced.
Volunteer Support for the 2020 Christmas Store

Students from Blue Mountain College, Mississippi are here to provide volunteer support during the 2020 Christmas Season

Volunteers are needed.

Understandably, many volunteers who normally would serve with us, are hesitant to do so, because of the Virus. For this reason, and because we have added a second Christmas Store, volunteers are needed as much as ever before.  Volunteers help us organize and stock the Christmas Store, wrap gifts, care for children, help parents shop, and so much more.  Volunteering during the Christmas Season is so much fun, and meaningful too.

Thankful for you

Your prayers, the gift of your time and energy, along with your donations & financial support, are making such a difference in and through this place.  We are grateful to God for you.

 

Date Published: December 4, 2020

Thanksgiving @ Mission Arlington®

6,019 families, representing 24,559 people, received food for their families on Thanksgiving Day. Thank you!

Thanksgiving Blessings 2019

This impromptu snapshot from last year captures what Thanksgiving means to so many families across our community. The picture was snapped just as these two children received their turkeys and Thanksgiving meals from our volunteers. Our generous community provided and delivered this meal. We are truly amazed.

The Fall Festival is behind us,  and now we turn our full attention to the Thanksgiving season.  Food insecurity is so real, and it is in our own back yard. The impact of “the virus” on working family’s in our community has been significant.  However, it is also true, that the generosity of our community is unparalleled.  Not only do you have a sensitivity towards working families in need, but you do something about it – and not just for a season, but all-year-long. Here are some details you may need about Thanksgiving at Mission Arlington.®

What’s Different this Year because of COVID-19?
  • We are still delivering meals on Thanksgiving morning, as noted above. The need is greater than ever!
  • We will start delivering at 8 a.m. and will continue until 12 p.m.;
  • We will follow all health recommendations and guidelines, including social-distancing, masking, and sanitizing;
  • Every part of the volunteer experience will be outside, or in your own car.
Thanksgiving Food Needed

Turkeys, Hams, Mix Canned Vegetables, Canned Sweet Potatoes, Canned fruit, Canned pie filling, Canned Cranberry Sauce, Box/Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, Beans/Rice, Tuna, Peanut Butter, Rolls, Pie Crust, stuffing, and carrots. Feel free to add to this list.  We are grateful for anything that can be provided.

How You Can Volunteer

  1. Preparing for Thanksgiving Day: Volunteers are needed in the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Food needs to be sorted and boxed. Maps need to be matched with deliveries, and so much more. Everything needs to be ready by Thanksgiving morning;
  2. On Thanksgiving Morning: Volunteers are needed at Mission Arlington® by 8:00 am and on-going through the noon hour and beyond. Turkeys, turkey baskets, and hot meals need to be delivered to waiting families. No need to call. Just show up, and there will be plenty of work for you;
  3. Bringing a group: If you want to bring a group to volunteer, before Thanksgiving, or on Thanksgiving day,  call at 817-277-6620, ext. 6160.
Where to Meet

On Thanksgiving morning, meet outside Mission Arlington’s main office at 210 W. South Street. It takes about 6,000 volunteers to deliver the food, so we need as many people as possible to help. 8:00 a.m. is the official start time, but please come any time you are available. Thank you so much!

Date Published: October 31, 2020

Family Fun at the Festival

The Fall Festival is On

We are so pleased to let you know that we will be hosting our annual  Fall Festival again this year. This year’s big event happens on Halloween, Saturday, October 31st, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., in central Arlington.

Fun for Children of all Ages

Bouncy houses, outdoor carnival games, great food, hay rides, and candy for the kids will be all be part of the fun. It’s outdoors, and a great place to bring the kids on a Fall Saturday afternoon.  Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have a great time too.  Every part of it is “free of charge,” of course.  It is a great sight to see so many children with their parents, dressed up in creative costumes, adding color, mystery, and excitement to this Fall event.  Costumes are not required, of course. Just come as you are and have a great time.

Adjusted for COVID-19

Each year, we have over 2,000 children and youth who attend this great event with their families. For those of you who have been before, you will notice some changes this year, because of the season we are in: 1) Every part of this event will be outside. The carnival games which were formerly in the gym have been moved outside; 2) The crowds will be thinner, because Mission Arlington® will be bringing children from the apartment Bible studies at a different time than when the Festival is open for the general public. Additionally, masks will be required for this event.

Volunteers are needed

We need volunteers to help with every area of the festival – from staffing carnival booths, face-painters, bouncy houses, trash detail, safety patrol, and so much more.  It is so much fun to volunteer at this event. Please call us at 817-277-6620 to volunteer, and ask for Heather or Jim.  We’ll get you set up.  This is a great event to come with family, friends, or your group.  Help us spread the word.

Bags of Candy Needed

Can you help us with the much-needed candy for this event.? The children are always so excited when they receive a bag of candy at the end of this event. We need bags of individually-wrapped candy. You can bring it down to the Mission Arlington® offices anytime between now and the morning of October 31st. Thank you so much.

For more information, click HERE.

Pictured above – the “Hay Ride” from the Fall Festival in 2016.

 

 

 

Date Published: October 12, 2020

North Texas Giving Day 2020

Your gift will make a huge difference to us, and to the people we serve. Thank you so much.


Thursday, September 17th is North Texas Giving Day, sponsored by the Communities Foundation of Texas. From 6 a.m. until Midnight, you can give to the ministry of Mission Arlington through the link provided below.


Mission Arlington is in its 35th year of providing assistance to ordinary people in a moment of need.  Through the first 6 months of 2020, under the cloud of the pandemic which has swept over our community, Mission Arlington has distributed food to more than 171,000 people, a 364 percent increase over the number of people served in the same time period the previous year.

As September rolls on, more and more working families find themselves unable to meet their basic needs.  Requests for rent and utility assistance are on the rise.  Your support helps us to help our friends and neighbors as they walk through these difficult times.

Our administrative overhead (confirmed by an independent audit) continues to be less than 2 percent. This means that more than 98 cents of every dollar you give, ministers directly to people in need. Every service we provide is “free of charge,” and we do not sell anything you give to us. When you give it, we give it away.  Thank you so much for your support. It means “the world” to people in need. For more information, link here.


How You Can Give on September 17th (6 a.m. to Midnight)
  1. Through the North Texas Giving Day LINK;
  2. Directly to Mission Arlington: LINK HERE;

Date Published: September 4, 2020

School Supplies Needed

A young student receives school supplies from your gifts to and through Mission Arlington!Students need school supplies

We are excited to turn the corner into the “school supply” season at Mission Arlington®. Your support is such a blessing to us, but more importantly, to the Arlington ISD students we are privileged to serve.


You can find a list of needed school supplies at this LINK.  The list includes things like the following items:  backpacks, 12-count colored pencils, 24 count crayons, 8 count washable markers, #2 pencils, red-black-blue pens, highlighters, pink erasers, glue sticks, 3-ring binders, spiral notebooks, notebook paper, scissors, rulers, dry erase markers, zip lock bags, paper towels, tissue, and more.


Registration is currently open.

Families can sign up their students through the front room at Mission Arlington® anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.  Families can also register their students through any of our Bible studies and congregations.

Volunteers are needed!

We actually work on the gathering and organization all-year long, but especially during these summer months. You and/or your team can help.  We need people who can assist us in the organization of these school supplies.  It takes a lot of hands to put together supplies for over 10,000 students.  Anytime you, your family, or your team are available between 7 and 7 Monday through Saturday, please call 817-277-6620 to make an appointment, or just come on down when you are available.  We’ll get you to work.  Thank you so much for your willingness to help.

You make a difference

What a difference your gifts make!  It makes a difference to moms and dads who – especially in this season – are struggling to make ends meet.  School supplies are expensive, and their purchase creates a crisis for the family finances.  We also love watching the relief in the faces of these hard-working parents.

Often, students will come with their parents to pick up the supplies they need.  The smiles on their faces tell a beautiful story.  These gifts from you of school supplies truly makes life better for families in need, and their children

We are grateful for your faithful support. Thank you so much.

Date Published: July 13, 2020

Better Together!

A volunteer works in Mission Arlington’s food pantry, helping other get the food they need for their families.

As a faith-based family, we like to say that we are “Spirit-led, but volunteer-driven,” because volunteers like you lift so much of the load around our place.  Individuals, families, and all kinds of teams (church youth groups, students, civic organizations, and businesses) give their time to help people in need.

As the pandemic began to spread across our country, volunteers naturally and understandably began to stay home, keeping everyone safe.  Donors increased, however, as the compassion inherent to our community blossomed. People began to wear masks when they donated, but the generosity of our community led to long lines of givers, bringing food, clothing, furniture, and so much more to help people in need.  It was absolutely amazing and humbling to watch.

Now, as the community has begun to open safely again, volunteers are beginning to return. More individuals and families are coming to serve, along with various teams.  We are so grateful. It takes many hands to do the work here, and it is such a blessing to do it together.

We truly are better together!

If you are ready to get out again, please come on down to volunteer.  You don’t need an appointment, and we will put you right to work – anytime between 7 and 7 Monday through Saturday. We hope to see you soon!

Date Published: June 15, 2020

Thankful for “Giving Tuesday”

Instead of large Easter egg hunt this year, volunteers honored social distancing while delivering candy-filled eggs to more than 6,500 children, along with food for their family. The smile on this young girl was one of many we saw that day.

We are thankful for your wonderful support on Giving Tuesday, May 5th.  Once again, you gave generously and sacrificially to make a difference here.  The gifts we received Tuesday were as strong as they ever have been on this day. We want you to know that these funds will support the needs of so many who are struggling with financial hardships during this season. We are able to provide, because you made it possible. Thank you.

What was Giving Tuesday?

During this unprecedented time, many nonprofits have increased needs for support, in order to care for people in need affected by the personal and economic impact of COVID-19. Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® is no different. We were already seeing larger numbers and greater need in the lives of people who walked through our front doors every day.

Because of this, the Communities Foundation of Texas (and many sponsors) made huge efforts to support local nonprofits with the “North Texas Giving Tuesday Now,” on Tuesday, May 5th. So many of you gave to make a difference here. We were overwhelmed by the community support of people in need through this offering. Thank you so much.


Transparency and Accountability

It is important to us that we operate with transparency, and that we are accountable to our supporters. Here are a few things about our ministry which may be helpful for you to know.

  • We are in our 34th year of serving in our community;
  • We do not charge for any service we provide; Every service is provided free of charge;
  • We do not sell or resell anything our community provides. When you give it, we give it away;
  • Tillie Burgin, our Director, has been here since the beginning, August 1st, 1986. Our small staff has been here and worked together for many years;
  • We are accountable to God first, and we work closely with a governing body who meets every month. We are audited annually by a local, respected accounting firm, and we voluntarily participate with multiple charity watchdogs, being in good standing with each;
  • You can find the results of our ministry, published here.We are so grateful for the constant support of this community.
Date Published: May 2, 2020

Safe in the Storm: Mission Arlington® & COVID-19

Mission Arlington® has been serving our community since August 1st, 1986, nearly 34 years.

During these difficult days in our country, we want you to know the measures we’ve taken here at Mission Arlington®, as emergency responders within our community, to provide for people in need and to follow all appropriate protocols to facilitate safety for volunteers, donors, and guests.


If you need help
  1. Normal Operating Hours – We are here to provide emergency assistance between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. These are our normal operating hours, unchanged from before the virus‘ entrance into our community;
  2.  Social Distancing
    1. We have created a “drive thru” for people who are receiving food. This limits the amount of people in the building and the physical interaction between people, and it allows you to receive what you need from the privacy of your own vehicle;
    2. We are also delivering food and supplies to people who call in and are requesting assistance if at all possible;

If You Want to Help
  1. Normal Operating Hours – We are still open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays for drop off;
  2. Stay in your Vehicle – When you drop off, please stay in your vehicle. We will unload your car for you. Our volunteers will be wearing protective gear for their safety and yours;
  3. Receipts Provided – Instead of coming into our offices to receive a Tax Receipt, we will bring the receipt to your vehicle;
  4. Food Needs – We have special needs for a variety of foods to provide for people during these days – canned meats, soups, canned vegetables of multiple varieties, bread, hygiene items, toiletries, and so much more;
  5. Financial Needs – Mission Arlington® continues to need your financial support, especially in these days of increased need. Our administrative overhead continues to be very low (less than 2 percent), and we don’t charge for any service we provide.  98 percent of every dollar you give directly ministers to people in need. As the impact of the virus affects our economy, we are anticipating increased need in days to come. Your support makes such a difference.
    1. You can write out a check to Mission Arlington®, sending it to our main offices at 210 W. South Street, Arlington, TX 76010;
    2. Or, you can donate online here. If you so choose, you can direct your offering to specific areas of ministry, such as the general fund, food, medical, dental, or more. This will give you the option to begin or to continue your support of our work without having to travel to our physical location downtown.
    3. We are so grateful for, and we truly count on your support.  Thank you.

We have been in this community for nearly 34 years, representing the generous, caring hearts of the people here to care for “those in crisis” among us, and to represent our Lord faithfully. We are grateful for you.

Date Published: March 21, 2020

Rainbow Express® Brings Hope

Hundreds of student groups are in town (400+) this Spring Break to lead Rainbow Express.® These young people are here from all across Texas: Rotan, Hallsville, Keller, Rockwall, Odessa, Keller, Tyler, Van Alstyne, Moody, and more. We also have several churches here from Mississippi, including Ripley, Clinton, Meridian, & Florence. It is an amazing group of people.

On Mission, a phrase which describes the heart of the student groups here this week. These young people could make different choices than the one that brought them to Arlington. When the students arrive, we know already that they could have stayed home, instead of spending their free time like this. They chose to leave the comforts of home for a week to live in spartan accommodations with their youth group, to work long days in the ever-changing Texas weather, so that they can express God’s love in practical ways.  Many here were inspired by their loving sacrifice. We are energized and blessed to serve alongside these faithful, called, congregations.

Children learn about God’s love at Rainbow Express

Prayer undergirds this important work, and love provides the motivation.  Churches set aside resources, and parents pray while their students load into church vans and travel to another state to serve the Lord.   Youth ministers receive the large body of material weeks ahead of time, and students devote a few hours each week in preparation for the trip, learning four days worth of Bible stories, activities, songs, crafts, and games.  Churches back home are praying for the students and the effective accomplishment of the Lord’s work while they are here. The Mission Arlington family, and the prayer network all across our community also is lifting this ministry up to the Lord every day. We are expecting the Lord to use these young people in a mighty way to make a difference here.  Thanks to each of you who continue to pray.

Eternity hangs in the balance.  Last year, more than 23,681 children attended a Rainbow Express®  event in 335 locations, and 507 of them accepted Christ.   These events are a lot of fun. We know, because the children & youth of our community shoot out of their homes as soon as the Rainbow Express®  team arrives.  Even after an hour and a half of activity, many don’t want to stay instead of going home.  Rainbow Express is designed for children & youth, and it is truly fun.  However, it is also more than that.

The intersection of families from our community, and student groups from across the US, and the teaching of God’s Word fills hearts with HOPE. We are grateful for the privilege we have of sharing God’s love, and spreading His word throughout our community this summer. Come join us, won’t you? Please keep us in your prayers.  We are excited about the months ahead.

Date Published: March 9, 2020

Basketball Leagues Begin

February Saturday mornings mean basketball at Mission Arlington®.  Our volunteer Bible study leaders arrive early to pick up a van, then travel across our community to “knock on doors” in order to transport children from home to a gym in the center of town. The same kids who have difficulty getting up during the week for school are waiting at the door, ready to “play ball.” In February, our basketball leagues are for elementary-aged children. In March, we do the same thing, but with youth.

The coaches and referees are volunteers who are giving their time, energy, and skill-sets to make a difference in the lives of these young people.  They arrive at the gym early to get everything ready, then greet the children with big smiles, free donuts, and a brightly-colored, donated shirt for each student to wear on Saturday mornings, and to keep when they go home.

By 10:00 a.m., the gym is filled with laughing, learning children.  For the next two hours, they will have so much fun, while learning & practicing the skills of the game.  The children work in teams, pass the ball back and forth, and dribble up and down the court. The two hours of exercise is an important by-product of these weekly events.

The students get to practice their shots from up close and from the free-throw line, guided by the positive reinforcement of our volunteer coaches.  “Well-done” and “Great shot!” or “You can do it!” are common lines heard throughout the morning.  After a while, teams are formed, and the students get to put what they’ve learned into practice through friendly competition.

Our world is reeling these days from the loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Bryant left a legacy for his efforts on and off the basketball court. This award-winning athlete also created an Oscar-winning animated short film titled “Dear Basketball” which illustrates how much the game made a difference in his life.  As we play ball with these students in the Spring, perhaps one of them will be loved in these moments of learning and playing the game that they will remember these days as ones which made an impact in their lives. Our heart for these leagues is so more about impacting young lives than it is about the game.

We are grateful for every volunteer Bible study leader, and every coach who came out to make a difference in children.  We are ever grateful for this generous, loving community who surrounds us with support and love, so that we can stand in the gap with and for the children of our community.

Date Published: January 28, 2020

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