Because We Care
MISSOURI CITY, TEX. – “We serve because we care” was the rallying cry from Southwest Region Conference Community Services Director Durandel Ford, as he addressed the nearly 100 devoted and committed volunteers and team leaders of the Fondren Southwest Seventh-day Adventist Worship Center in Missouri City on Sunday, Aug. 5, from noon to 3 p.m.
The fifth annual Community Services Benefit Fair was held at the Fondren church, where Gordon Jones is the pastor and Michelle Mota is the assistant pastor.
The mission of the Community Services Ministry under the direction of Myrna Sharpe and her team of volunteers is: “Lending a Helping Hand Today for a Brighter Tomorrow.” The Community Services Benefit Fair was an enormous undertaking which included, but was not limited to, free health education, health screening, nutrition education, clothing giveaway and career development. The goal was to equip, educate and empower the families in the surrounding areas of the church.
The highlight of the day was the church’s ability to provide almost 400 backpacks with school supplies to students from grades Pre-K to high school completely free. We also distributed free school uniforms.
In order to receive the backpacks, families went through a registration procedure and were required to visit at least 10 educational and medical booths which were manned by 50 vendors.
Some of the vendors offered diabetes education, dental, vision, hearing, blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. They also offered suicide prevention, information to prevent bullying and immigration counseling services.
The children who attended the fair also enjoyed free entertainment including face painting, and they snacked on snow cones, popcorn and hot dogs.
Another very important feature was the blood drive provided by the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank. The staff reported that “It was a very good day as we were able to receive a record 15 pints of blood in two and a half hours.”
Several universities and colleges were represented to offer education, career choices, tutoring opportunities and workforce solutions.
The Fair has been an ongoing initiative where we have been providing food and household items to an average of 128 families each week.
We are able to do this with the assistance of community partners such as Walmart, Target, Costco and the Food Bank. We are blessed to be able to bless others.
By Dora G. Morton
Photos by Rufus L. Morton