Twice a year, a local non-profit organization puts on a clothing drive that provides thousands of clothing items to the community. Manna Ministries works out of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Denison and just in time for the winter and summer seasons, the organization works to clothe anyone looking for items.
While the group is always in need of more children’s clothing for its biannual event, they also accept clothing for adults with an emphasis on items that can be worn to job interviews or for work in the labor fields.
Back in 2008, the program was able to clothe about 125 people during its giving days. Now, the organization sees more than 6,000 clothing items. No proof of income or residency is required and no one is questioned, Singletary said. No limits are placed on what an individual or families can get, but recipients are asked to remember there are also others in need. Singletary also asks that those who aren’t in need not take advantage of the ministry.
Carol Singletary, a retired nurse, now heads up the nonprofit Manna Clothing Ministry.
“There are a lot of people here in Denison who need this,” she said during the ministry’s fall 2018 event. “If you think of people who are on disability, they can get housing and rent assistance, they can get Medicaid, they can get food stamps. However, there is little out there (in the way of) clothes.”
She also said there’s an extensive and growing population who live on little or no income, ranging from senior citizens to young people and families.
“When you think about people who have limited incomes of like $500, $600 or $700 a month, that doesn’t leave you anything for clothing, even at garage sale or thrift store prices,” Singletary said. “They absolutely cannot afford stuff.”
This year’s event was held Nov. 8-9 in Kohfeldt Hall, a 2,000 square-foot room at the church.
In addition to clothing giveaways, Manna Ministries operates a food bank situated across the street from St. Luke’s Church that is open each week, Monday through Friday. The ministry also provides a weekly meal every Saturday in Kohfeldt Hall.
“When I arrived in Denison a little over seven years ago, we did a community needs assessment,” said Rev. Don Perschall of St. Luke’s. “We discovered that Denison needed three things in particular — a good food pantry, a free clothing program and a meals program. We immediately set out to meet these needs, all of which is in response to Jesus’ command in Matthew 25. We believe that the measure of a Christian is found in Jesus’ words: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.’”
For more information or to donate clothes, food or time, call (903) 465-2630.