An old-fashioned chuck wagon, complete with lanterns and mining tools, sits in the parking lot of Super Save Foods in Sanger, catching the attention of local residents.
The wagon serves as a 24-hour drop-off spot for donations this holiday season, and it will be there through Wednesday and is sponsored by members of North Texas Trinity Cowboy Church.
This is the first year the church has sponsored such a program, and organizers said they have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.
Ben Buckwalter, who helps manage the drop-off site, has spent 15 days living in a trailer in the grocery store parking lot. He said organizers have collected more than 2,600 bags of donations, almost filling three medium-size trailers.
“We nearly tripled my personal goal to get between 600 and 700 donations,” Buckwalter said. “Some of the items we need the most are nonperishable foods, blankets, clothes, toys and toiletries.”
Buckwalter encourages residents to bring new clothing, household items and toys, but used items also will be accepted.
Residents also can make donations by check, payable to North Texas Trinity Cowboy Church, and designate the G6 Project. Officials said 100 percent of monetary donations would go toward the purchase of food, blankets or toys.
“We’re just out here to help those who are less fortunate,” he said. “This is our first year, but we’ve already decided to do it again next year.”
At 9 a.m. Saturday, organizers will distribute the donations at Grace Bible Church, 314 N. 4th St. in Sanger.
Buckwalter encouraged only those who really need help to show up at the church for the distribution.
“They don’t need to bring anything — just themselves,” he said. “We just hope those who are less fortunate come up.”
Buckwalter and volunteer Ken Peterson said the response from the community has been surprising and motivating.
Local residents and business owners have given their time and resources to further the volunteers’ goals.
“Everyone has been very helpful, including the grocery store, to the Subway [restaurant] that brought us food as we sat out here,” Buckwalter said.
The donation drop-off is located at the corner of FM455 and Interstate 35. There will be someone at the site 24 hours a day. For more information, call Buckwalter at 214-536-2930.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .