SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – As grief began seeping through the town of Sutherland Springs after 26 were killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church, everyday necessities became a second priority. In the toughest of times, people from all over the nation are helping the town fill that void by filling up families’ pantries.
Alice Garcia has lived in Sutherland Springs her whole life. She even went to First Baptist Church as a child.
“I feel blessed to be able to live in a community like this, that shows support in a time of need,” Garcia said.
In a town like Sutherland Springs, when tragedy happens to one, it happens to all. That’s why Garcia and her family are taking time off work to collect donations at the community center and are handing out food to families in need. They’re families that typically depend on the church’s food pantry, which had to close for days after the shooting.
“They're just grateful. People come in here with tears,” Garcia said. “They're able to come to a place where they can provide for them, not even just food, being able to pray with them together.”
The help was made possible thanks to donations from people in the community and even strangers from all over the country.
“From Washington state, Virginia, Oklahoma, from all over, California. I can't tell you how many states,” Garcia said.
The community center is now collecting specific items, such as dinner rolls, green beans and cranberry sauce so that families can cook Thanksgiving dinners.
Volunteers said they hope to make the holidays just a little easier for families still weighed down by the unbearable loss.
The community center is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. People can go anytime to get what they need. Volunteers plan to keep it open and going until the need is met.