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Abilene nonprofit sees a surge in new faces, now expanding clothing services

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene, the nonprofit Love & Care Ministries, is currently seeing a major influx of new faces coming to ask for help, which has led the charity to expand its clothing services.

Vamell Allgood, a gift area worker from Love & Care Ministries, said she loved working in her job to help everyone, but it had a particular impact on her when people first came.

“They are confused. They don’t know what they can get, and then when we tell them, ‘Yeah, you can have two pairs of pants, and it makes them cry,’ Allgood explained.

She said she has seen more new faces recently than ever before.

In fact, executive director Mark Hewitt said they saw an influx in the summer of 2022, but that was nothing compared to the number of new people they saw from September until today.

“I don’t know if I can say a percentage off the top of my head. I just know it’s a lot,” Hewitt said.

He thinks more people in Abilene are seeking help because of the higher costs, but also that homeless people are traveling south because of the cold weather.

“First, I believe what the word says, it says the poor will always be with you, and so I believe that. Second, I think if the world keeps getting tougher, it’s going to get tougher for people” , Hewitt explained.

Due to this increase in the number of clients, or as Love & Care Ministries call them, friendsthe non-profit association develops its clothing services.

Previously, the organization had a room to collect donations, but now the homeless will have a room to collect donations and families living in poverty will have a room. This will leave more room for additional items that have been donated.

“We are just trying to develop for the future. As we grow, we expand,” Hewitt explained.

The nonprofit will provide more room for growth, so people like Allgood can donate more items to those in need.

“You can change their day by giving them perfume,” Allgood said. “We don’t ask for anything in return. All we do is give.

Even though they’ve had a lot of donations, they still need it, and Hewitt said they desperately need men’s clothing because those items are donated the least.

Love & Care Ministries expects to open both clothing rooms in approximately two weeks.

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