MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — A local nonprofit is gearing up for its monthly community event aimed at ensuring families in need have clean clothing and other necessities.
Village in the Valley (VIVA) helps hundreds of families in the Rio Grande Valley through scholarships and programs like “Community Closet Saturday,” where it provides these items for free. Now, the organization is seeking help to expand its reach.
Mount Olive Worship Center partners with VIVA for this initiative.
Pastor Alphonzo Gatling, who serves as the nonprofit’s treasurer, said they require volunteers and monetary and physical donations – especially hygiene products.
“We’re taking some basic household items, definitely taking shoes, pants shirts all that stuff,” he said. “We’ve even got some blankets. We’re holding onto for when the cold comes back —you know that two days here in the Valley when you actually need a coat? We take pretty much everything.”
The event takes place the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are required to limit crowding.
Pastor Gatling said this service is for people who find themselves in emergency situations.
“Either their house caught fire or they had to leave in a hurry or they find themselves in a situation where the only thing they really have is what they have on their back,” he said. “So, we want to be someplace they can plug into to get a clean shirt, clean pair of pants, and get ready to face the next day.”
He said the event is only for those who truly need the help.
“We want to make sure the people that come do need it and that they’re not looking to profit from it,” he said. “For the church, it’s an outreach ministry; for VIVA it’s providing a service to our community when the community is in need, so we want to make sure we keep it like that.”
When there’s an overflow of donations, VIVA partners with other ministries serving migrants.
If you require assistance, register here for an appointment. A form of identification is not required. If in need of more immediate assistance, Pastor Gatling encourages individuals to reach out to the organization.