A warm welcome and a hot meal await visitors on Saturday, Oct. 14 as Central Church of Christ offers its annual Food & Raiment Day benefit to the community.
The clothing giveaway and free luncheon will be underway from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, according to Larry Smith, one of Central’s elders. Ample parking will be available on the church’s lot just off North Spring Street and across the street on the city pavement near the dry cleaning store.
“We’ll have a large selection of clothing in most sizes for adults and children, along with shoes and boots and heavy-duty work clothing,” said Kim Cantrell, co-chairperson of the Food & Raiment organizing committee at Central. “One of our main goals is to get children fitted with proper winter clothing, including coats and rainwear,” she emphasized.
Cantrell, who serves as principal of Morrison Elementary School, said the Christian family at Central is strongly focused on helping children as well as adults have the clothing, food and other essentials they will need with the approach of winter weather.
Church volunteers worked yesterday to sort the clothing into size groups to help “shoppers” fulfill their wardrobe needs quickly and easily.
A limited stock of winter coats will be available, but only one item will be allowed per person present. That means that children and teenagers will have to attend the event in the Central church benevolence center in order to obtain a coat, one of the volunteers explained.
A large supply of women’s sweaters will be on display, as well as sweatshirts and pants, the church noted.
Thanks to a donation by a Central family, a patient bed lift will be available free to a visitor who can justify the need for the battery-powered device. The unit is designed to safely transfer a mobility-impaired person between a bed and a sitting position such as a wheelchair.
“The Central congregation has been offering Food & Raiment Day for more than 20 years, and we are happy to be able to continue this Christian service in our community,” Smith stated. Over the past several years an average of 300-350 individuals were outfitted with clothing and outerwear during the event.
“While you’re here, come by our complimentary soup-and-sandwich luncheon in the fellowship hall in the church’s main building,” the elder added. “Depending on the supply-and-demand situation we may have enough food to be able to offer carry-outs so our visitors can enjoy another meal later at their home.”
The name of the annual event derives from a question posed by Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6, verse 25. This was in the context of Jesus’s teaching about the futility of worrying over our material needs; the lesson concludes with the assurance that God will provide for our essentials.