EAST COUNTY — Becky Phillips didn’t waste one moment as she walked through the sanctuary of The Source Church Saturday, Aug. 25, in Bradenton.
With 2-year-old Davian Pachin perched on her hip, Phillips pointed to the white garbage bag full of clothing she’d collected. With 11 people staying in her home — including eight adults and three children — every little bit helps, she said.
“We can’t afford it anymore,” she said. “Our hand-me-downs are passed on. There’s nothing left. This makes a big difference. We take what we need; nothing more.”
Families in need flocked to The Source Church, whose sanctuary had been transformed into a clothing distribution center for the day, as it hosted its third City-Reach Clothing Giveaway.
Joanne Hoehne, who serves as pastor to The Source with her husband, Ralph, said the clothing giveaway started three years ago, because church member Mark Sedacca had access to clothing and wanted to find a way to distribute it to those in need.
“The fastest way to give away clothes is to do a giveaway,” Hoehne said, adding the first giveaway event was organized in just two weeks. “We had 1,800 people show up. We had no idea the need was so great.”
People asking for clothes began calling the church on a monthly basis, so church leaders decided to make the clothing giveaway an annual event.
More than 140,000 pounds of clothing, shoes and other items arrived at The Source earlier this month, and church volunteers spent three full days sorting clothing by size and category for the drive.
“(To see this event happen) three years in a row is spectacular,” said Sedacca, who, with other volunteers, assisted guests.
For more information about The Source church, visit tapintothesource.com.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].