Christmas Every Day
At Mission Arlington®, we like to say that “It’s Christmas here every day!” If you’ve been to our “Front Room” then you know that we keep a Christmas tree up all year long. The star at the front of our building reminds us of the Bethlehem star which pointed the way to Christ. There is just something about the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to the world, which captivates us, and energizes our work.
Though our free Christmas Store is what most people know about, we also participate in “Angel Tree” and “Adopt A Family” approaches to providing Christmas for the children in our community.
The Christmas Store
Open for 13 days in December, our Christmas Store is free. Though we do open one day for residents of Tarrant and Dallas counties, the Store is primarily designed to serve Arlington & Grand Prairie families. We work all-year-long to get the store ready, and the gifts for children are donated directly by our community.
This year, 26,481 children in 6,480 families, received Christmas Gifts. More than six thousand (6,300) individuals, families, churches, schools, colleges, businesses, and community groups volunteered in the store.
The Christmas Story
For us, the most important part of the Christmas Store is the “Christmas Story.” Before moms & dads enter the store, they have the opportunity to hear the Christmas Story from Luke chapter 2. This year, volunteers shared the story in seven (7) different languages – (English, Spanish, Sign, French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Arabic). As a result, 941 different adults made spiritual commitments of some kind. Two hundred sixty-two (262) people made first time decisions to trust the Lord for salvation.
We are so humbled for the privilege we have of walking this journey with you. Thank you for the way you gave, so that people could hear the message of God’s love, and also, so that they could find Christmas gifts under their tree.
Thanksgiving was so special again this year, because it always is, but also, because you made it that way for thousands of people who needed a little help to get by. We are truly amazed by your selfless generosity.
On Thanksgiving morning, three thousand (3,000) volunteers showed up at 8:00 a.m. to deliver turkeys, Thanksgiving boxes, and hot meals to 6,293 families, representing 26,181 people). We were also able to serve 150 plates of hot food at a sit-down dinner for people who didn’t have a place to be, or a family to be with on Thanksgiving Day.
We heard over and over again how blessed people felt to receive the Thanksgiving food. On the other hand, we also heard how blessed the volunteers were to deliver that food – even on a slightly rainy day. People love to serve, and they love to make a difference in someone’s life. On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers got to do both.
We are often asked, “Where does the food come from?” The answer is that it comes from you. We received food drives again this year from elementary schools, high schools, civic clubs, companies, families, and individuals too. We love how this community purchases, collects, and donates food to provide for those in need. You did it.
We are grateful for each person, every family, and all the teams who gave to help families in need. It takes all of us, working together, for a day like this to work. Thank you so very much.
Each year, on the Saturday before Halloween, Mission Arlington® hosts its annual “Fall Festival.” Free food, multiple sets of bouncy houses, a huge hayride, and a parking lot full of carnival games makes up the bulk of the day. Children have so much fun too. From hotdogs to hayrides to prizes, the event is a hit from start to finish.
Designed as a family-friendly experience, we notice that the parents have a lot of fun too. At the festival, the children are given a bunch of prizes after the playing of each carnival game. They also receive a bag of candy as they leave the event.
Two thousand (2,000) children (with their families) attended the Fall Festival this year. Smiles and laughter filled the event. It was truly a special day.
it takes a lot of volunteers to make this event work. We are so grateful for each and every volunteer and volunteer team who came out to help. You were such a blessing to us, and to the children. Thanks also to each of you who donated candy, and the fun prizes that children enjoy so much.
We are grateful for you, and we are already looking forward to next year.
When the Fall comes, and the students are back in school, the Mission Arlington® family ramps up its after school programs again. We meet weekly in thirty (30) different locations, helping children with their homework, while sharing God’s love in various ways. In 2021, these after school efforts averaged over 1,300 students a week over 26 weeks. Total attendance for the year topped 34,000. That’s a lot of homework help!
Our volunteer teams meet the children as they come home from school. Snacks, games, Bible stories, and all kinds of activities, make these after school programs feel special to the students who attend. Plus, our volunteers help students to do their own homework, so that they can thrive in their educational journey. Our afterschool programs are truly special places to have fun, and to learn.
One writer suggests six benefits to afterschool programs. They 1) “create a sense of belonging;” 2) “improve social skills;” 3) “provide academic support;” 4) “make learning more fun;” 5) “provide safety and supervision;” 6) “build confidence.” We see all six of these benefits in the students we serve each week.
The work of Mission Arlington always hopes to be holistic. We want to care for the physical, spiritual, emotional, and educational needs of people from all walks of life in the best way we can. Our after school work is one way we work towards that end.
We are so grateful for every volunteer and team who care for the well-being of students across our community. We are so grateful for the privilege we have of sharing God’s love with our community – young and old. We are also, always so grateful for you, and the constant support of this community.
We call them “Summer Programs,” primarily, because they happen in the Summer months.
Students are home, and looking for things to do, and eager to learn about the Lord. Mission Arlington® sponsors these “Summer Programs” in multiple locations across our community during the Summer, and the young people have so much fun.
Crafts, snacks, various activities & outings, and Bible study are part of the fun. Young people have so much fun, while learning about the Lord, and His Word.
We are so grateful for the privilege we have of serving the Lord alongside you, and for the joy we have of sharing God’s love with the children & youth of our community.
Thank you so much for your constant support.
Because Spring Break happens at different times for various parts of the country, Mission Arlington’s Spring Break Rainbow Express® season lasts for several weeks in March. Student groups from across Texas and around the country come to lead Rainbow Express® in coordination with the Mission Arlington® family.
In case you don’t know, Rainbow Express® is our version of a “backyard Bible club,” including games, snacks, crafts, snacks, songs, and Bible stories. We’ve designed the experience to happen over four days (Monday-Thursday), lasting about 1.5 hours per day. We offer morning, afternoon, and evening options in order to best need the needs of our community.
One of our Mission Arlington® Bible study leaders told us this week how much Rainbow Express® had meant to his Bible study group:
“When the children saw the student groups at the church, they ran to them laughing and smiling. They were so excited to be there – and they learned so much about the Bible, and the Lord.”
We love for children to have fun at Rainbow Express®, and it does all of us good to see the excitement and joy of these young people. However, the larger purpose of these 4-day events is to share God’s love. We want them to know that not only do we love them, but that God knows their name and loves them too, in fact, more than we ever could.
In the first two weeks, 3,967 students have attended at least one Rainbow experience, and 127 young people have chosen to give their lives to Christ.
We have one more week of Spring Break Rainbow Express®. After that, we’ll close it down for a few weeks, then begin again in late May, as the Summer season begins. To learn more about Rainbow Express®, click here.
Mission Arlington® is sponsoring another “Fun Day” for children later this month, and we are so excited.
These fun-filled mornings include both outdoor and indoor games, great food, and a devotional shared from the Bible. Children enjoy the fresh air, fun & games with other children their age, and the ability to run outdoors, to laugh, and to play.
The Mission Arlington® family enjoys spending their morning with the children. Fun days are meaningful, and – well – fun! Click the video above to see images from our “Fun Days” in 2021, and we think you will see what we mean.
Thank you so much for your constant support!
Along with our community, we welcome this New Year. Hopes are high that the Pandemic which engulfed our nation and the world will be behind us before long, yet – along with you – we will take each day as it comes. We are honored and humbled for the privilege we have of walking this journey alongside each of you. Thank you. Here are some things ahead of us at Mission Arlington as the New Year begins.
Meeting Daily Needs for People in a Moment of Crisis
As we have been for the past 35 years, and especially for the past two years, we will continue to be here every day to meet the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the many families and individuals who walk through our front door. Our commitment is to do more than merely “hand out” the items which you so graciously give, but to provide authentic care, a listening ear, and a heart to help for each person in need. Our medical and dental clinics will continue to care for people’s health-care needs, and our weekly after-school programs and Bible Studies (scattered across our community) are already in full-swing.
Martin Luther King, Jr. “Day of Service”
On Monday, January 17th, a national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his contributions to our country, Mission Arlington will be a place wide-open to receive your services, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Many voices across our city are encouraging us to make this holiday a “day on” instead of a “day off.” The New York Times is reporting today what many in our community have already discovered – volunteering is a great way to make a difference – not just in the lives of others, but in our own lives as well. The money quote: “. . .the solution may lie in what we do for others, not ourselves.” Come by yourself, with a friend, with your family, your team, or your company, but please come. There is so much to do, and so many ways we can make a difference together.
Rainbow Express is our version of a back-yard Bible club – with songs, snacks, crafts, creative games, and teachings from the Bible. Student groups come in from across our state and around the country to lead Rainbow Express throughout our community. Children love Rainbow Express, and so do their moms and dads. Please pray with us as we get ready to share God’s love with the children in our community.
Giant Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Sunday is on April 17th this year, which means that our Giant Easter Egg Hunt happens on Saturday, April 16th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a family-friendly event with carnival games, free food, bouncy houses, fire trucks, free candy for kids, and a giant, 100,000-egg Easter egg hunt. It takes a lot of volunteers to help us out on that day, and it is so much fun. Plan on joining us again this year as we share God’s love with the children (and their families) across our community.
So Much More
Fun days, sports leagues, summer camps, and so much more will make up 2022. Your support means so much to us, and we love it when we see you and your family/team show up to help. We are so thankful for your support, and we are looking forward to serving our Lord together with you throughout this brand new year! We are grateful for you!
The HOLIDAY SEASON has arrived at Mission Arlington.® This truly is, as Andy Williams used to sing, “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” Before we know it, Christmas will be here too, and 2021 will be behind us.
Reasons for Thanksgiving
It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is behind us. In the midst of spending time with your own families, and everything else that happens, you made sure that other people beside your own family could celebrate Thanksgiving too. Because of your faithfulness and generosity, we were able to deliver food to more families than ever before – 6,221 of them, representing more than 25 thousand people (25,596). You simply amaze us, and you always have. Thank you!
As we turn the corner into the Christmas Season, here’s what’s ahead at Mission Arlington.®
Christmas at Mission Arlington®
Dates and Times: Our free Christmas Store will open from December 11th – 22nd (excluding Sundays) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. The store will also be open on December 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. until noon.
Volunteering: Christmas volunteers are needed anytime the store is open. Stockers (working with toys), shopper helpers (helping parents find gifts for their kids), childcare, and gift-wrap, are all part of the need. To volunteer, just show up, and we’ll put you to work. If you want to bring a team with you, contact us at 817-277-6620, and we’ll get you set up.
Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Mission Arlington.®
We can’t wait!
We hope you enjoy this three minute overview of Mission Arlington’s ministries this past Summer. We are so grateful for your constant support.