The long-awaited week of giving and community prayer known as Christian Care Week is now underway.
The annual event, now in its 34th year, kicked off with a fundraising luncheon hosted by the Wylie Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 11:30 a.m. at Collin College Conference Center.
Donations from businesses and organizations were accepted and a live auction of special donated items was held, raising additional funds for the Center.
Pastor Jeff Denton of Waterbrook Bible Fellowship told the audience he had “big shoes to fill” this year after being asked to speak on behalf of Al Draper and Raymond Cooper, the voices of the Christian Care Center since its inception.
In his speech, Denton talked about the history of the Care Center and how important a community that cares recognizes “those people with needs are all around us and sometimes need someone to notice their need.”
“Brother Al Draper and Raymond Cooper have dedicated years of their lives trying to get the rest of us to stop and take notice of the needs of some in our community. They force us to answer the question, “Do you care?””Pastor Jeff Denton
The Care Center operates a food pantry and provides short-term emergency funds for area families by paying certain bills and providing food and clothing. The center serves families from Wylie, Lavon, Nevada, Josephine, Copeville, Royse City, Sachse and Murphy last year.
According to the Center, in 2020, 850 families — approximately 3200 individuals — were provided with food, clothing and/or financial assistance in 2020. In addition, $111,000 in rent and utility payments was provided.
The 2021 numbers are trending in a similar fashion. To date, over 600 families have been served and the Center has provided over $97,000 in rent and utility assistance.
Center co-director Mary Warkentine said that as government food assistance programs are discontinued, the demand for assistance, both food and financial, is rapidly increasing.
“Current monthly financial assistance needs are 20% higher than in early 2021 with food and clothing needs showing the same pattern,” she said.
Aside from funds raised at the luncheon, Wylie ISD hosts a campus-wide canned food drive benefitting the Center. This year, the drive started Oct. 25 and ended Nov. 11. All items collected will be delivered to the center later this week reported Warkentine.
Another event that provides much-needed funds for the Center is the annual Thanksgiving Bake Sale fundraiser. The popular sale, sponsored by area churches, is set for Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This year, the bake sale will be held at the Olde City Park Pavilion in downtown Wylie. Warkentine said average bake sale proceeds are $8500 and “last year we sold out in 3 ½ hours.”
For more information, or if you would like to volunteer, contact Gloria Suarez at 281-714-5523 or Betty Lutz-Black at 469-767-9089.