Operation Liberty Hill ready to serve those in need

From left, Hallie Gainer and Susan Baker sort food at Operation Liberty Hill. (Photo by Kate Ludlow)

From left, Hallie Gainer and Susan Baker sort food at Operation Liberty Hill. (Photo by Kate Ludlow)

Operation Liberty Hill will hold its grand opening ceremony next week, and it’s the perfect opportunity for people to learn more about the services available and the opportunities for giving and volunteering.

“We’re offering food, clothing, toiletries and more. There’s a lot of stuff,” says Susan Baker, one of the organization’s lead volunteers. “We’re not discriminating in any way those we help. At this time, we’re not turning anyone away that we can help.”

The center, which is currently operating under the umbrella of the Liberty Hill Ministerial Alliance, is currently accepting donations of non-perishable food items, household items such as appliances, gently used clothing of all sizes, and unopened toiletries. According to Baker, the group is currently helping between 50-60 people, and they expect that number will go up.

“Now that we have more to offer, we will be seeing that number increase. Also, we’re no longer open just an hour, there’s more opportunity to help,” said Mrs. Baker.

Along with Mrs. Baker, lead volunteers Hallie Gainer, Ann Witcher, Stacy Warner, and Karen Crockett have been hard at work renovating the center’s building, which is owned by Fellowship Baptist Church, arranging donations and spreading the word about Operation Liberty Hill.

Currently, the center is not set up as a 501(c)(3) organization, but has an attorney working toward that status. Fellowship Baptist Church is accepting donations for the center. In the future, the organization will work toward providing eligible families with cash assistance if they meet income requirements.

The organization currently uses donations to purchase ground beef, chicken, eggs, cheese and other perishable food items, which are then combined with non-perishable donations of rice, dry beans and other pantry items and distributed to individuals seeking assistance.

“It’s basically enough food to feed a person for a week to 10 days,” said Mrs. Baker.

“Our goal is to equip them to become self-sufficient,” added Mrs. Gainer. “That way they have an incentive to better their lives, if they’re able.”

While some folks seeking assistance are elderly or disabled, Operation Liberty Hill has recognized that some of them are people who have the potential to work.

“We set aside clothes that come in and are that of interview quality. That way if anyone has a job interview, they can dress the part,” Mrs. Baker said.

The center also has volunteers who have donated their time to offer financial training and budget classes, along with GED and ESL classes. The center works closely with Kim Roberts of the Liberty Hill Community Resource center, and if they can’t provide something, they refer people to others who  might be able to help.