Thanks to the generosity of Missouri City residents, staff, churches and community groups, the 4th annual “Operation Thanksgiving—Stuff-the-Squad Car” greatly exceeded its goal of filling 15 police cars with food and nonperishable items to assist area families in need. Additionally, 11 barrels that had been placed at several city facilities were filled to the brim with donations.
All city departments collaborated to sponsor the Nov. 17 charitable event that was held in the parking lot of Public Safety Headquarters on Cartwright Road. Dozens of residents dropped off carloads of nonperishable items throughout the morning and received help unloading the goodies from police officers and volunteer groups. Donations were distributed to three area churches—Second Mile Mission Center, Bethel Ministries and the Powerhouse of Love.
“Knowing that volunteers from the community and that the City responded like they did is really touching,” said Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. “I think we are in lean times, and I’m thankful to live in a City where concerned citizens and the church community volunteer of their time to make other people happy.”
Ulises Duran, a manager with Classic Chevrolet, brought donations that the car dealership gathered from employees and the community. “This project is wonderful,” he said. “It is a chance to give back to the community and also teaches our kids to be part of it.”
Shirley Bellard, of the Powerhouse of Love, said the group enjoys reaching out to the community. “This is our second year to volunteer,” she said. “Our outreach group meets once a month to organize projects that give back to the community.”
Joe Torres, whose father pastors Bethel Ministries, said: “We have a food program and serve about 500 families every week. We are glad to help those less fortunate.”