Giving back during COVID-19 crisis: Former inmates help at SW Houston food distribution site

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SW HOUSTON – They served time, now they’re donating their time to help communities in need.

Six men recently released from Texas prisons and jails are helping their local communities in the wake of COVID-19. They’re rolling up their sleeves to sort, stock, and distribute food and other items to some of Houston’s under-served at Bethel’s Heavenly Hands, in southwest Houston.

The men, enrolled in CrossWalk Center’s re-entry discipleship program, were recently laid off or did not find an opportunity to find work before the pandemic forced many local businesses to close.

“So many of our men have been laid off due to COVID-19 or recently came out of prison, so it’s important that they continue to serve others and maintain a routine,” says Kathy Vosburg, executive director of CrossWalk Center.

“It’s amazing to have them out here. Not only are we giving them inspiration, they’re also inspiring us. They are getting to see and be the hands of Jesus Christ on the ground,” says Pastor James Lee of Bethel’s Heavenly Hands. “They’re being able to help the community to serve those that the bible calls ‘the least of these’. But they inspire us because they want to give back.”

And their help is so appreciated. According to the food pantry, the men’s contributions are boosting the church’s ability to keep up with demand by nearly 85%.

To find more about CrossWalk Center, visit: www.crosswalkcenter.org

And if you need help or food Bethel’s Heavenly Hands located at 12600 Sandpiper Drive, is open 5 days a week from 8am – 2pm. They are not zip code restricted. You just must show a valid ID.

For more information or to volunteer, visit: www.bethelsheavenlyhands.org/

Lastly, in this uncertain time Pastor Lee offers some advice, “We just have to make sure that we have faith over fear. And we have to make sure that we’re prudent but also pray.”

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