Texas Baptist Men break out chainsaws to help with homeless veteran facility construction
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A volunteer chainsaw crew took down dozens of trees today in Jacksonville for an East Texas non-profit organization.
“We feel very passionate [that] nothing is going to get done with us trying to do it by ourselves.”
State chainsaw coordinator with Texas Baptist Men, Wendell Romans, says 18 volunteers from their Collin Baptist Chainsaw Unit took down five trees. This project is to assist the East Texas Sheltering Arms Coalition so they can build a new facility that will allow them to serve more people.
President of East Texas Sheltering Arms Coalition, David Peters, says their mission is to end homelessness in East Texas veterans. The organization started with a bus converted into a mobile soup kitchen - feeding about forty people at a time. After the bus was totaled in a wreck two years ago, they eventually started using a concession trailer to feed people. This has allowed them to now feed about 300 people every Sunday.
“Our hope is that with doing that, we can get back to that original vision of having people sit down, serving them a meal, and the volunteers and myself actually being able to interact with them and get to know them a little more.”
The new facility will serve as a dining hall and emergency shelter, where they will not only be able to feed more people but connect with them on a personal level.
The existing house will serve as a training center equipping people with life skills, and access to computers with internet - all for free.
Peters says he is overwhelmed by the number of men who showed up to cut down trees.
“They’re a great group of guys, very well trained at what they’re doing and they’re helping us out tremendously,” Peters said.
Romans says their crew doesn’t get paid, but they do it because they love the Lord and love helping organizations.
“Our mission is to serve the Lord and win people to Christ, and then if we get to cut trees then it’s even better,” Romans said.
East Texas Sheltering Arms Coalition hopes to have the training center, dining hall and emergency shelter completed and ready to use by the beginning of next year.
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