Coat and Shoe Drive
The Diocese of Dallas will be hosting a men’s winter coat and shoe drive at the Diocesan convention to benefit the men served by One Man’s Treasure, a faith based ministry that delivers sets of clothing to indigent men when they are released from prison and return to the Dallas area. We understand that this has been an unusual time of need within our state and many churches have rightly been directing resources to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey in south Texas. At the same time, the needs of the thousands of indigent men returning to the Dallas area in the months ahead remains the same-clothing, food, housing, transportation, and employment. As our Board of Directors looked at what to do this year regarding this annual appeal for assistance to meet our need for shoes and winter coats, we turned to God for His direction.
Several scriptures that are sent to our clients with their set of clothes came to mind and we recognized how those are the same promises of HOPE and FAITH that God has made not only to those returning men in need, but also to the residents in south Texas, and to our ministry–Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6 and Psalm 34:10 “those who seek the Lord will not be in want of any good thing.” Walking in that faith and knowing the churches’ strong belief in the difference that the ministry makes in the lives of the men we serve, we are asking that you consider how you might help us meet our clients’ need for shoes and winter coats while continuing your service to others in need in south Texas. Is it reaching into your closet and giving a pair of your personal shoes, or going to a nearby thrift store and purchasing a gently used pair to donate? Is it asking co-workers, family and friends to help by donating a gently used or new coat from a discount store? Whatever gift you can provide to this ministry will be a blessing. It will allow us to meet each client’s need, complete each set of clothes with shoes and a warm coat during the winter ahead.
Twelve years ago when One Man’s Treasure was founded, 66 men received a set of clothing and the ministry grew each year. Last year, a record 1398 men received clothing, 528 more than the year before. This year, we project that number will be even higher. With this growth comes challenges in having the resources to meet the increased clothing needs. What is the need this year? Over 700 coats will be needed for distribution this winter alone. Sizes XL, 2XL and 3XL are the most common sizes needed.
Just as important, 1700 pair of shoes will be needed in the coming year. Gently used or new men’s dress shoes, tennis shoes, and work boots in ALL sizes are needed, especially 10, 10 ½, 11 and 11 ½.
Working through His people, God always provides for those needs and we know that He will continue with the help of the churches of the Diocese of Dallas. Our Board of Director and staff join me in thanking you for your support in the past and for what you can do to help these returning “brothers in white” at the convention or in the months ahead. We ask for your continued prayers for the ministry and the men it serves. If you would like more information, please contact me at 214-532-9819.”
Annette Jenkins Executive Director
For those who are not familiar with One Man’s Treasure’s ministry to the formerly incarcerated:
Each year over 59,000 men are released from incarceration from Texas state prisons/jails and it is estimated that 8,000 to 9,000 of them return to the counties that are part of the Diocese of Dallas. These men are released with $100, a bus ticket and an ill-fitting shirt and pair of pants and most return with limited, if any, support to help them meet their basic needs-clothing, food, transportation, housing, and employment. There is limited, if any, support available to assist them with those needs. Many do not have any family and must find a transition home to enter or become homeless. Many return to families who are indigent or part of the “working poor” themselves and are unable to assist them financially to meet their needs. Guided by Matthew 25:34-40, One Man’s Treasure was founded to meet one of those basic needs, decent clothing for daily living as well as clothing that would be appropriate for job interviews. The mission is based on the belief that if these returning men can feel a sense of dignity in their appearance, they will have more confidence when they seek employment, attend church and integrate into the community. If they are able to find employment, the chances of them reoffending is lower and they can lift themselves from poverty to become a successful member of their community. The unique aspect of the ministry is that the clothing is delivered to the client at his place of residence by a Christian male volunteer (called a shepherd) who visits with him, prays with him, and encourages him at a critical time of his transition into the free world soon after this release. Another aspect of the ministry is to serve as a referral source for the other needs of this often overlooked segment of our community through a Resource Guide for the Formerly Incarcerated that is provided with the support of the Episcopal Foundation of Dallas. For more information about this ministry, visit www.onemanstr.org or call 972-771-4141 or 214-532-9819.