The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Faith feature: About 400 coats passed out to children in need

 

October 10, 2018

Courtesy photo: Bailey Alexander

A crowd of people gathers outside Faith Christian Family Church on Saturday in preparation for the annual Coats for Kids drive, which coordinator Carolyn Rubio-Lopez said drew over 70 families.

CLOVIS — Faith Christian Family Church once again offered the community a chance to warm up - body and spirit - with its 26th annual Coats for Kids event at the church last weekend.

Coordinator Carolyn Rubio-Lopez said hundreds of coats and jackets were distributed, free of charge, along with hats, gloves and snow boots on a rainy Saturday morning.

"Because of the weather of course we didn't do as well as we normally do but we actually did really good," Rubio-Lopez said. "We served over 70 families and we gave away about 400 coats just here alone to children and adults."

She said the coats are collected by members of the church all year long in lead up to the annual event. Rubio-Lopez said any monetary donations that come in are used to purchase new items at a discount through a partnership with a local retailer.

She also goes around to each Clovis school at the end of the school year to pick up leftover coats from the lost-and-found that were not claimed, to be laundered and cleaned to be included in the annual drive.

Rubio-Lopez said any coats that Faith Christian does not want to include in its event are given to The Lighthouse Mission, around 300 this year she estimated, and then "whatever is left over we box it up and save it for next year."

She said when the program began 25 years ago there was a real need in the community for coats; evidently there still is, based on the 70-plus families who came on Saturday.

"We just want to provide for people that otherwise it comes down to sometimes 'Do I put gas in my car, do I buy groceries, or do I get my kid a coat?' So helping out there is huge for a lot of these families," Rubio-Lopez said.

Of course, especially considering it's in the church's name, faith plays a role in the annual coat giveaway too.

Rubio-Lopez said the church offers salvation to anyone who comes in, with 27 people taking advantage of that chance to learn about Jesus this year.

"What we do is we have the people come in and then we tell them what our heart is here at the church, how we just love people, how we love our community, we love our city," she said.

"We just share our heart with them, our church and then we just tell them about Jesus and offer Jesus to them. We tell them how Jesus has changed our life and this is why we do what we do."

Tory Lopez, who made the hour-long trip from Rogers to attend the event on Saturday, appreciated Faith Christian's efforts to assist those in the community who need a little help.

"I think it's amazing, especially when you have families who maybe can't get something for their kids, at least they know their kids can be warm. It's definitely a blessing," Lopez said. "I feel like they're doing God's work and that's what we're meant to do. Especially as a church congregation and a church family we're meant to help our community, it's God's intentions."

 
 

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