Covering our Neighbors: St. George’s Collects
Warm Blankets and Coats for Locals in Need
PHARR: Although short and sporadic here in South Texas, winter’s chilly tendrils most acutely effect locals who are financially-challenged. The newly immigrated and elderly who live in substandard housing often find themselves in special need during the winter season. To respond to this need, St. George’s Orthodox Church and St. George’s Food Pantry located at 704 W. Sam Houston in Pharr, collects new and lightly used blankets, quilts and Afghans, as well as warm coats, sweaters and sweatshirts of all sorts and sizes to help cover our neighbors with warmth this cold winter season.
“For the past several years, we’ve shared blankets and coats with our St. George’s Food Pantry participants during our special Christmastime distribution. Last year, over 120 families received goods during this season. These families and elderly individuals were grateful to get the blankets and warm clothing,” says Fr. Antonio Perdomo, Pastor of St. George’s. “This year, we’ve already had people calling and asking if we will again have blankets and coats available.” Over 20,000 people have been assisted by St. George’s Food Pantry during the few short years it has been open to serve.
In years past, national church agencies provided blankets to the region’s poor through the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley. Again, due to lack of funding and increased needs in other areas, none of those blankets will be coming to the Valley. To help make up for this lack, for the past two years, the Zion Mission Quilters of Zion Lutheran Church in Alamo have provided handmade quilts to help meet this need. Last year, another local group donated hand crocheted Afghans to help the program.
“The quilts and Afghans these talented ladies make are absolutely lovely,” shared Elizabeth Perdomo, wife of Fr. Antonio. “They are real treasures. Each stitch shows the love and care of these dedicated craftswomen. However, we still need about 100 more blankets, quilts, Afghans or baby blankets just to be able to give one per family” Perdomo continued, “let alone one per person in need.”
Coats and blankets will be distributed to recipients of St. George’s Food Pantry and others in need during the Christmas Season Distribution which will occur on Wednesday, January 2nd. On that day, in addition to usual food boxes, as far as they are able, special Christmas Stockings and toys for children, blankets and coats will be shared with program recipients.
Please call and make arrangements to bring donations of extra coats, warm sweaters or sweatshirts, as well as new or lightly used, clean blankets to St. George’s any time between now and December 31st. St. George’s also welcomes your tax deductible financial support for one time or regular contributions for St. George’s Food Pantry’s ongoing service to our local neighbors. Winter Texan and other volunteers are also needed every other Wednesday when the program is open.
To make donation or serve as a volunteer at St. George’s Food Pantry, please contact Fr. Antonio Perdomo at 956-781-6114 or 781-2388. See St. George’s website at: www.stgeorgepantry.org