ACU’s Season of Caring is set to kick off next week as the holidays draw near. For the rest of the semester, students, faculty and staff will have several different opportunities to pour back into the Abilene community.
Bob Strader, director of Ministry and Service, shared about the four different branches of Season of Caring. First, ACU will partner with Love and Care Ministries on their Mission Thanksgiving project. From Nov. 13-22, a delivery truck will be on ACU’s campus for students to drop off donations of toys, clothes, food, blankets and any other gift they want to give to Love and Care.
Strader said that typically, ACU fills a third of the truck.
“The truck seems too big for us, but we want to fill the whole thing. We are a part of the community that we live in and we want to join in what’s going on,” said Strader.
On the Nov. 22, the truck will be driven across town to Arrow Ford, where the community-wide portion of Mission Thanksgiving occurs.
While Mission Thanksgiving is going on, Turkeys for Taylor and Adopt an Angel will also be taking place.
Turkeys for Taylor’s goal is to collect money to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for students at Taylor Elementary, ACU’s neighboring school. The money collected will provide a great Thanksgiving dinner to 70 students and their families who need and appreciate them the most. Student Action Leadership Team and Body and Soul primarily lead the initiative on campus.
Adopt an Angel partners with Treadaway Kids to provide Christmas gifts for a Treadaway student. There will be a tree set up in the campus center for ACU students to pick a name and purchase a gift for that child.
Mingle and Jingle is the last part of Season of Caring. This fun and festive night isn’t just about Aaron Watson’s great music. Students and guests at the event are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for admission to the concert for Love and Care Ministry’s Christmas on the Streets. Mark Hewitt, executive director of Love and Care ministries, is hoping for 800 toys this year.
Bob Strader, though, has even bigger dreams for this year’s event.
“Hewitt wants 800. Last year we gave around 500. But this year, I want to give 1000,” he said.
With big goals and an even bigger heart behind it, Strader brought to mind the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 in thought of this upcoming season. In the story, a man with more than everything he needed ignored the needy man right outside his house, stepping over the man’s body everyday to go to work.
“I don’t want to ignore the people right at my doorstep,” Strader said.
Strader and other members of administration want the ACU community to consider the same thing going in to the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Their vision is not just for the students to do something on campus, but be part of something bigger than themselves with the people that they share the city with.