Beginning March 18, the COAD started the task of locating churches and business partners willing to donate items to nonprofits, seniors, food banks, low-income families and homeless people.
Ward serves as the COAD’s liaison to the faith-based community and through her efforts, more than 30 religious organizations stepped forward to serve. Burwell contacted social service agencies, volunteer groups, food pantries and non-profit organizations that rapidly transformed into an exchange of resources and supplies.
They established drop sites throughout the county, with First Baptist Church in Georgetown serving as a warehouse for the generously donated items. Volunteer runners took the supplies to those in need.
The quick action by so many organizations was astounding, and several new collaborations were formed.
Local businesses answered the call and donated food, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and hygiene products. Virtual meetings among COAD members and the community, along with a slew of emails and phone calls linking needs and resources, continue to this day.
Initially, the COAD focused on serving persons who were in crisis from the pandemic. Several churches and organizations provided food, emergency funding and masks to those who were homeless but under state and county orders to stay home.
HELP Crisis Assistance (an organization that helps survivors of crime, crisis and disaster within Williamson County to with necessities like food, clothing and shelter) gathered donated food from local restaurants. Community Blessing Church provided food to homeless families staying in a motel and Easter baskets to their children.
There were many other community efforts occurring simultaneously that the COAD either supported, benefitted from their efforts or advertised through them. For example, Celebration Church became a food distribution and food box assembly center for Central Texas Food Bank and then a mask-making site for 26th District Court Judge Donna King’s Mask Brigade.
Some churches sponsored blood donation centers, provided meals to quarantined first responders and donated fabric for mas
Businesses like Widner Products in Bell County donated 300 gallons of hand sanitizer, and employees from CHASCO Constructors in Round Rock delivered donated supplies and even installed safety rails for a senior citizen.
Williamson County is extremely grateful and blessed to have people, including church leaders, who are so dedicated to serving the public during this time of extreme need in more ways than we can imagine.
For more information on the COAD’s drop zones and their hours of operation, or to volunteer, please email COAD@wilco.org.