Love & Care Expanding Into Anson, Romodeling in Abilene

By LORETTA FULTON

By mid-summer, Love & Care Ministries will open a new location in Anson to go with its Abilene, Merkel, and Clyde facilities.

And, the Abilene location is being reconfigured to better accommodate the needs of clients. The move into Anson is part of a plan to expand into more rural areas as the need grows, said Mark Hewitt, executive director. 

“It’s exciting to me to grow and expand,” Hewitt said. “We’re about reaching people and helping people.”

The ministry will open in a vacant building near Anson’s golf course and city park. The 4,000 square-foot building is in good shape and only needs new paint on the outside. Walls will be built inside and counters and other fixtures added. A kitchen and bathrooms already were built in. 

Mark Hewitt, executive director of Love & Care Ministries, pauses during a tour of the remodeling at the Abilene facility. Photo by Loretta Fulton

The Anson facility will offer clothing and a food pantry but no on-site meals. Occasional Church on the Street events will include food. The location near the city park is perfect for those events, Hewitt said.

“To me, that’s the exciting part for us.”

The Anson location also will be included, along with Abilene, Merkel, and Clyde, in Mission: Thanksgiving, which is held annually the Friday before Thanksgiving. The event is staged in front of Arrow Ford in Abilene and at each Love & Care Ministries site in area towns.

Hewitt’s son, Zack Hewitt, is associate director of Love & Care Ministries in charge of rural locations. Each site is open specific days each week and is staffed by volunteers from local churches and others. 

Terry Davis, director of ministries for Love & Care Ministries. looks over an area of the clothing building in the photo at left, while workers sort clothes in the photo on the right. Photos by Loretta Fulton

They offer prayers and spiritual counseling in addition to assistance with food and clothing. The Anson shop will be stocked originally from the Abilene facility and then by local donations as they begin arriving. 

“That’s what other communities have done,” Hewitt said.

In Abilene, work is ongoing to reconfigure the clothing side of Love & Care Ministries, 233 Fannin St. When finished, the building will be divided into two areas, one serving the homeless and one serving people who have a home but are in need. 

Mark Hewitt and a Faye, a volunteer at Love & Care Ministries, work on sorting clothing. The photo at right shows bags of clothing collected during the 2021 Mission: Thanksgiving drive. Photos by Loretta Fulton

The homeless area includes clothing, hygiene products and other goods, plus three showers for men and three for women. The area for those with a home includes clothing and household goods. At one time, part of the building was used to house homeless people, but Love & Care Ministries no longer offers housing. Instead, that area is included in the reconfiguration that is designed to better serve those in need now and into the future. 

“We just want to be ahead the best we can,” Hewitt said. 

Loretta Fulton is editor of Spirit of Abilene

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