ABILENE – For Abilene High School sophomore Adi Pilit, the arrival of the holidays isn’t just about getting a break from school and homework. It’s also a chance to continue making a positive difference in his community.
Pilit used a portion of his day on Friday, November 19 – the day before many Abilene ISD students and families will begin their week-long break for the Thanksgiving holiday – to help receive and organize donations at Arrow Ford, where an important annual benefit was taking place: Mission Thanksgiving. “This is a really good and easy way for us to give back to our community,” said Pilit. “And I’m glad it’s starting at this age, because we’re becoming adults and it’s good for us to know how to give back.”
Mission Thanksgiving is held each year to support the work of Love & Care Street Ministries, a local non-profit dedicated to helping Abilene neighbors experiencing homelessness or financial difficulties. This year’s two-day event marks the 23rd time Love & Care has organized the effort, which invites the citizens of Abilene to drop off non-perishable food items, bottled water, sleeping bags, blankets, coats, travel size personal hygiene items, and other essential needs at a two-lane drive thru in the Arrow Ford parking lot. An army of volunteers in blue t-shirts helps remove those donations from personal vehicles for organization and loading into a seemingly endless row of distribution trucks.
Pilit donned his blue t-shirt with pride as he loaded clothing and shoes into bags alongside friends Stacy Rios and Analeah Martinez, both freshmen at Abilene High. Rios said that her favorite part of the day was “helping pack everything and getting everything organized” – quite an undertaking given the dozens of trucks that had to be loaded. “It’s hard work, but we’re helping people,” said Rios. For Martinez, all of that effort was justified by the positive effect it has on her community: “Knowing I’m helping others, especially those experiencing homelessness, makes it all worth it.”
These three students were just a few of those from Abilene ISD high schools who chose to serve at Mission Thanksgiving this year. The Abilene ISD is proud to support these students as they continue growing into productive, responsible citizens by helping their neighbors.
For more information on Mission Thanksgiving, visit missionthanksgiving.com.