I recently had someone ask me if I really thought we helped people by giving away everything for “free” at the Timberlake Outreach Center (and at Elkhorn and Council Bluffs). My answer was a resounding YES! Every week as I drive to work at 8:00 am I see people lined up to “shop”. The Outreach Centers don’t open until 9:30 am. They are lined up in the heat of summer or cold of winter and even in the rain and snow.
The federal government defines the poverty level for a family of 4 as $25,000 a year to “live comfortably”. Metro area statistics say it costs about $63,000 (2014) a year to “live comfortably”. The Timberlake Outreach Center bridges the gap for thousands of families. When a family can supplement their food stamps/SNAP with a free pantry, that saves money to pay rent, utilities and gas for the car. Giving away diapers and baby food helps stretch dollars. Free clothing means growing children can have the proper clothing for each season. Proper clothing includes winter wear…coats, boots, mittens. Donated furniture, working appliances and household items (pots and pans, utensils, etc.) allow families to furnish their homes and have money to pay rent on the home. Sheets, towels and blankets are often “luxuries” for those living on the edge of poverty but, your donation of your unneeded items can bless a family. You may never know what a difference your donations of food, clothing and household items make…but they will show God’s love in your corner of the world. Make a difference…donate and volunteer.