FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Early Tuesday, long lines of cars spilled out of the parking lot at the faith-based resource center The Hope Center and out onto the access road along South Loop 820 East.
While they sat in their cars awaiting a free Thanksgiving meal, its apparent to people like Sylvia Carter how the economy is impacting East Fort Worth.
“Things got to get better,” Carter said. “Not just for me but for a lot more people. Because I don’t know how we’ll survive.”
Carter suffered a stroke three years ago. She’s on disability and needs this program to give her three granddaughters a Thanksgiving dinner, she said.
“I would be wondering and worrying how I’m going to put some food on my table,” Carter said. “This is a blessing. And I know a lot more families feel the same as I.”
The Hope Center will serve 700 families just like Carter’s over two days, officials say.
“We’re excited,” said JoAnn Reyes, President of The Hope Center. “Because the Lord loves the poor. And he wants to help the poor. He just needs some hands to do it.”
As the cars moved down the stacks of produce and food boxes, volunteers loaded trunks and backseats and beds of pick-up trucks with food. Each family receives more than they can use. And they’re given a request: Share.
“We always give them more than enough so that they are givers, not just receivers,” Reyes said.
The idea is to get the food to as many people in need as possible.
“Go get the cakes,” Carter told her 8-year old granddaughter as she and her sisters unloaded the back of her pickup.
“Can we give them the pumpkin granny?” Carter’s 10-year old granddaughter asked.
The children were about to learn the lesson that comes with The Hope Center’s strategy.
Carter and the grandchildren carried a pumpkin, cakes, bread and other food to their neighbor’s apartment and knocked on the door. A woman with a toddler holding onto her skirt answered.
“Hi! Happy Thanksgiving!” Carter said cheerfully. “I come to give you some stuff!”
The granddaughters pass along the food to the neighbor with smiles on their faces as they realize they can still help others too.
“The church gave it to me and I’m serving God, too, giving,” Carter said. “It makes my heart go out to the world! I have a big heart anyway.”