The Arlington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration reaches its 30th year of “building harmony,” and “celebrating diversity” in our community. After a weekend of celebration filled with noted speakers, special tributes, student scholarships, Step competitions, mixtures of poetry, jazz, and so much more, volunteers come together in a “Day of Service” on Monday to serve throughout their community.
Instead of a day off, our community is encouraged to make it a “day on,” serving others to make a difference across our community. The Mission Arlington®/Mission Metroplex® family is thrilled to be one service partner among many on this day.
Volunteers can join the opening ceremonies for the day, which includes a continental breakfast and free commemorative t-shirts for the first 500 people to arrive, by arriving at 400 W. South Street at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, January 20th. The Arlington Martin Luther King, Jr. team will sign you in, and get you your assignments and tools for the day. For more information about this weekend, check out the official website here.
Mission Arlington® will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you aren’t able to make it by 9:00, but can come earlier or later, then please come on down to serve. Come by yourself, bring a friend, or come with your team. There is so much that you can do to help others in need throughout this community. Come ready to work hard, and to have the most fun ever.
We look forward to seeing you here.
The new year has begun. As the old year faded, after a full day receiving precious gifts from the community, our family gathered to pray. We thanked the Lord for the year, and committed to Him the year ahead. It was a sweet time together. We truly “prayed in” the New Year. This has become a part of the transition into each new year.
Yet, we know that prayer isn’t merely a bookend for the year. Prayer must form the fabric and foundation of our work, weaving its way through each part of the ministry. Our conviction is that the work we do can only be effective if it is produced, powered, and protected by the Lord. We truly do pray “in and throughout” the New Year. Won’t you join us?
You have certainly joined us in so many amazing ways day by day. We are so grateful for the way you wrap yourself around the people who come through our front doors every day. Your heart, and the spirit of this community truly is an answer to prayer:
You bring so many things that people need at just the right time. You give your time and energy, working alongside of us, to make a difference here, always in just the right way. Your financial support, given sacrificially, gets to real people, ordinary people, who are in a moment of need. The people who receive your gifts tell us over and over that it was an answer to their prayers.
We hope you sense this every time you come our way. We love showing up here every day, because we get to be with you as we serve our Lord. Thank you for your faithfulness here over the last three decades. Thank you so much for walking with us in and through this New Year. We can’t wait!
Happy New Year!
We are excited that 2020 has arrived. 2019 was so fulfilling as we walked alongside each of you to care for people in need. In the next few days, we will be reporting an overview of the results from last year.
For now, we just want to say, “Thank you” for making a difference here. Your gifts of time, talent, and treasure truly lifted the load for hundreds of people every day. We love it when you drop by with items to give, because we are so blessed by the Spirit in which you give. Then, we are blessed again in the giving of what you have provided. We wish you could experience the joy we have of seeing someone receive clothes, food, or emergency financial assistance, because you gave. People feel lifted in their hearts beyond the physical help you provide.
As the new year begins, our sports leagues will fire up along the way, and the “Rainbow Express” will get underway. Every day in the new year, we will meet and provide support to ordinary people who are in a “moment of need,” and we feel so blessed to do so.
As we say in our introduction, “Mission Arlington® belongs to God,” and “this isn’t our place, but His.” Last night, the Mission family gathered to pray as we closed out this year. We thanked God for you, and for all He has done in this place.
On the first day of this new year, we are asking you to join us in that prayer. May His love carry us through this new year, and flow through us non-stop to people in need. Won’t you join us?
We are grateful for you!
Time moves quickly. It is hard to believe that this year is already at an end. So many have been through so much this year, and we have been so honored to walk this journey in our community. Thanks to each of you for your constant encouragement and support.
Year End Schedule
We will be here on New Year’s Eve to provide help for people in need. We will also be here for you to drop off your donations until 5:00 p.m. We will be here on New Year’s Day, in full service, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Your Financial Support
Your financial support means so much to the work here, as we strive to care well for the people who come through our front doors every day. Our administrative overhead continues to be a very low 1.8%. This means that more than 98 cents out of each dollar you give directly ministers to people in need. Every service we provide through Mission Arlington® is free of charge, and we don’t sell what you so generously provide. When you give it, we give it away.
There are many ways that you can provide financially for the work here:
- Write a check to Mission Arlington® . You can drop it off at our main offices, or put it in the mail to 210 W. South St., Arlington, TX 76013. Checks must be postmarked by December 31st to be counted as a 2019 contribution;
- Give Online. Click the following LINK to make an online donation to our work here.
Results for the Year
We look forward to sharing our annual results with you as we enter the new year. Come see us when you can! We are so grateful for our journey together through 2019, and we look forward to walking together with this incredible community through 2020.
The Need is Great and Real
Perhaps we have all been there at one point or another in our lives – when the job ended in November, or unexpected expenses made Christmas money difficult. Maybe you remember what it is like to tell your children that there won’t be much Christmas this year, or like one mom said to her children – “Santa’s sleigh doesn’t extend this far.”
If you have found yourself at that difficult spot at one point or another in your life, then you already understand the heart of Mission Arlington.® We know that you do understand, because you continue to provide Christmas toys, trees and bikes in an unprecedented way. We are humbled and amazed by your tender generosity to our community’s children. Day after day, you give, so that our community’s children will have something under their tree. We wish you could see the tears of relief and joy that roll down the cheeks of moms and dads whose children will have Christmas because you gave.
The Christmas Story
Meeting the needs of our community’s families is important to us, but there is another reason that we do Christmas like we do. We want as many as possible to know the story of Christmas encapsulated in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ as it was described in the Gospel narratives of Matthew and Luke. Christmas gifts will last for a season, but a relationship with Christ will last eternally. It is for this reason that you will hear Tillie say that the Mission Arlington® family “celebrates Christmas 365 days a year.” Truly, every day is another day to share God’s love as we care for people in authentic ways.
- The Christmas Store is a place where parents choose free gifts for their children. It started small over 33 years ago, but has grown to be a large endeavor to provide Christmas gifts for families in need. Last year, 32,888 children received Christmas toys, bikes, trees, and an assortment of other gifts. We believe that the need will be great again this year.
- Adopt a Family – In addition to our Christmas Store, we connect donors with families in need. Donors tell us how many children they would like to provide for, and Mission Arlington® connects these families with their gifts. Often, the donors get to meet the families in a sweet moment of celebration. It looks like a great many children will be adopted this year again. We are thankful.
- Bicycle donations – We have a team of people who take old bikes and repair them, providing new parts, until the bike is nearly new. These restored bikes are provided to children and teenagers throughout the Christmas season. The Bikes for Mission Arlington® team are also working hard. They are on target to collect more bikes than ever this year.
- Angel Trees – Sometimes individuals and/or groups want to provide for a certain number of children or groups of children. The Mission family will then provide the names, ages, and Christmas wish lists for these individual children and connect the two groups together.
- Christmas Parties – Companies, civic groups, corporations, student groups and more will throw a Christmas party for Mission Arlington® children. Usually, this involves a dinner, a gift exchange of some kind, and the appearance of Santa Claus. The children who receive are always so blessed, not just by the gifts, but by the heart and the spirit of the team who gives to make a difference.
The apostle Paul points us to a statement Jesus made which still rings true today – “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:38). The interesting truth is that the people who give aren’t necessarily rich themselves, giving out of an abundant overflow of stuff they wouldn’t need or use anyway. In fact, most people who give to help others give from their heart, out of genuine love, and often sacrificially. Yet, as we see the tears trickle down, and the smiles grow large, we know that the givers themselves are truly being blessed.
A Merry Christmas
If caring for others makes Christmas Merry, then we believe that this truly will be a Merry Christmas all across our community this year. Thank you so much for loving people like you do. On Christmas morning, as you open the gifts around your tree, and celebrate with your families, please know that you’ve made a difference here. Children who would not have had a Christmas any other way are opening their gifts too. That is truly a gift of love.
We pray that you will truly be blessed this Christmas Season.
[Originally published Christmas Eve last year.]
We are getting ready for Thanksgiving at Mission Arlington® We invite you to watch this 2+ minute video produced by our friends at the City of Arlington to hear Executive Director Tillie Burgin share her heart about this season. You will see for yourself the “hustle and bustle” of activity created when a generous community gives itself to make things better for other people.
We are so grateful for each of you. Thank you so much for your support. We hope you enjoy the video.
We hope you enjoy this 3:20 second video of the Fall Festival from another year.
Fall means Fall Festivals at Mission Arlington®, and we are so excited. No one can say exactly when our Fall Festival began, because it didn’t begin as one big event like it is today, but as several smaller events across our community led by individual Mission Arlington® Bible studies and Congregations.
Until several years ago, the scattered and smaller events made more sense. As the number of individual events grew, along with the attendance at those events, it seemed best to create one large Festival located centrally in Arlington. And that is just what we did. Take a few minutes to view the video above, and you’ll get a sense of how much fun this event is for every one.
Now, we have almost 3 thousand children (with their families) attend each year. Though it isn’t required, many of the children dress in creative and colorful (not scary) costumes. Parents get to spend an afternoon with their children in the outdoors, away from the TV and other forms of technological entertainment. This is one of the most FUN events of the year.
Here are the details for this year’s festival:
When: Saturday, October 26th, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.;
Where: 1514 Cherry Lane, near the intersection of Fielder & Pioneer Drive (303);
What: Food, Carnival Games, Bouncy Houses, Fire Trucks, and a giant Hay Ride; The children play carnival games (bowling, fishing, miniature golf, bean-bag toss, face painting, and so much more), and win fun prizes. There are two sets of bouncy houses outside which require some climbing and sliding ability. They hay ride may be the most popular attraction at the Festival each year. Children load into a wagon filled with seats made of hay bales, and they are carried twice around a huge field in a trailer pulled along by giant tractors. At the end of the day, as long as their isn’t an active fire anywhere else, the children get to meet firefighters and tour their truck.
How Much? Everything we do is FREE.
How You Can Help
- Individually Wrapped Bags of Candy are needed. Please bring the candy to the Mission offices anytime up to the start of the Festival on the 27th.
- Volunteers are needed to help with carnival booths, serve food, staff the bouncy houses, and to set up or clean up. If you (and/or your team) want to volunteer, give us a call at 817-277-6620, and we’ll get you set up.
Last year, nearly 3,000 children (with their families) enjoyed this event, most of them dressed in creative and colorful costumes. Come join us, won’t you?
“First Mondays” are an important day for the Mission Arlington® family. For many people, of course, “First Monday” refers to Canton, Texas, and their famous trading zone which happens on the first Monday of each month. It means something completely different here.
Our Initial Approach
Many years ago, a patient could gain access to the Allan Saxe dental clinic any given day on a “first-come/”first serve” basis. Yet, the need was so great, that many people waited all day without getting in to see one of our volunteer dentists. People were understandably frustrated, and we were too.
Our Second Attempt
At that point, we decided to take another approach. Anyone who fit the parameters of our care who needed to see a dentist could sign up at any time when they came through our “front room.” The need for dental care was so great, unfortunately, that those “front room” appointments began to be a year to 18 months, and sometimes even two years out. We found ourselves saying to adults experiencing dental pain that they could see our dentist, but not for a long time. We were doing our best, but it didn’t feel good to anyone.
At 8:30 a.m., on the first Monday of every month, potential patients of the dental clinic can call our dental hot line number (817-860-4474). We take as many new patients as possible each month. We have nearly 60 dentists who volunteer with us each year at varying levels of frequency. In 2018, we treated more than 1,300 patients over 3,600 times, so we have a strong and active clinic. Even so, the number of people trying to get through on those First Mondays is way more than the number of slots we have available.
As you pray for the Mission, would you remember to pray for the Lord to prompt more volunteer dentists to come and serve. The family of dentists in and around our community who provide support are amazing, generous, and dedicated. They work long hours in their own profession, then donate their time and skill to help the lest fortunate through our clinic. With each new volunteer, however, we are able to help so many more people. Please join us in asking the Lord for more dentists, hygienists, and other volunteers.
Spread the Word
If you are a dentist with some potential extra time coming up, please give us a call. Debbie M. at 817-704-6141 can help get you connected. If you know someone you think would be a great help to the people here, please spread the word about our clinic. You never know how the Lord can use your voice to make a difference.
We are grateful for the privilege we have of serving with each of you in this community.
[Originally published in February 2019]
Starting tomorrow, September 21st, from 10 to noon, Mission Arlington® will be playing baseball again. We love the Fall, and so do the children who come out to learn the art, skill, hard work, and great fun of the baseball experience. The academy will continue for three more Saturdays after tomorrow – September 28th, October 5th, and 12th.
Bible study leaders scour the community, picking up children and taking them to Hunter’s Field. The elementary-aged young people meet our volunteer coaches there, led by former AISD Superintendent and head coach Jerry McCullough.
The students practice their skills by throwing and catching the ball for a while, running bases, catching fly balls hit by the coaches, then playing a few games against each other.
Each week, the children will get to experience a devotional thought from the Bible, led by Jerry or one of his coaches. There are always many smiles and a lot of laughter all around.
This event continues through the next couple of Saturdays, then picks up again in the Spring.
Every ministry of Mission Arlington® is free of charge.
We are always so grateful for your support.
The North Texas Giving Day happens again on Thursday, September 19th. This is a special day for participating Non-Profits in the DFW region, and it is powered by the good people at the Communities Foundation of Texas. Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® has been pleased to participate in this experience for the last several years.
The 2019 “Day of Giving” happens over an 18 hour window, between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 19th. When you contribute to us through the North Texas Giving Day LINK, the Communities Foundation of Texas will add to your gift, multiplying its impact. This means that your gift goes farther than it would with a direct contribution here.
If you are going to be “out of pocket” for some reason on September 19th, you can schedule your donation in advance starting September 9th – through the same LINK. Between September 9th and September 18th, you can go to NorthTexasGivingDay.org to schedule your donation. The donation will be processed on the morning of September 19th.
Your Gift Will Go Farther & Make A Difference
- Our administrative overhead continues to be very low – this year, at 1.7 percent. This means that more than 98 cents of every dollar ministers directly to people in need.
- Between 500 – 600 people a day come through our front doors for help six days each week. We provide emergency services for families in crisis, including food, clothes, furniture, and emergency financial assistance. Our medical and dental clinics treat hundreds of people each month, and we do a great deal of work with children & youth all year long.
- You can discover more about our services , our “hours of operation,” and/or our contact information at the corresponding links.
Grateful for You
Your gifts on this day through the past few years have been an encouragement to us, and also have made a significant difference in the lives of the people we serve every day. We are grateful for you.