About Mission Thanksgiving

In 1999, Arrow Dealerships met with Pastor Mark Hewitt of Love and Care Ministries regarding his ministry for the poor and homeless in the Abilene area. Arrow realized that it could easily make an impact as a community leader in educating the public regarding this program and raise public awareness. The location of their main Arrow Ford store could be used to increase the volunteer base and donation of clothing, bedding, money and food. There was great potential to hold an event to accomplish their objectives for Love and Care ministries. Year after year, Mission Thanksgiving is more successful that the last. In 1999, our first Mission Thanksgiving filled 1.5 trailers and raised $6,000 with all types of canned goods and clothing. Now, here we are in 2017 and the event has grown tremendously having collected 11 semi-trailers of clothing and food and raising over $140,000 in 2016.

Mission Thanksgiving is a chance for the community of Abilene and Big Country to band together in hopes of aiding Love and Care Ministries in helping the homeless and poor of Abilene. Each November for the past eighteen years, Mission Thanksgiving has benefited the homeless and poor in tremendous ways. Not only has it provided necessities such as food and clothing, Mission Thanksgiving has supplied the necessary monetary donations to help continue the Soup Kitchen that is open 5 days a week, as of 2016 the Soup Kitchen is serving over 4,000 hot meals a week. In addition to helping fund the development of two facilities in the rule communities Merkel and Clyde. 

Last year alone, we received 11 semi-trailers full of clothing, non-perishable, blankets, sleeping bags, coats, bottled water and drinks, shoes, socks, and hygiene items. In addition, over $140,000 was raised, with thousands of vehicles driving through Arrow Ford to donate in just one day. There was also a $65,000 Pepsi product donation. In spite of the overwhelming response, all donations collected for 2016 were distributed within 11 months. This is an incredible gift each year for Love and Care, the homeless, and the poor of Abilene. 

Within just 43¢, Love and Care Ministries can create 1 sack lunch. $10 is enough to feed 24 people and $500 can make 1,162 meals! Even the smallest donations can help make a difference in theses people's lives. 

There are an estimated 400+ residential homeless people in Abilene, and about 300+ more transient homeless travel through Abilene each year. Children make up 10%-15% of these numbers, which do not include the poor who benefit from the food and clothing services. That said, it is obvious just how many people benefit from drives like Mission Thanksgiving.  


How to Help

Businesses, families, and individuals can become a sponsor for this major event by donating a minimum of $500, which will help feed 1,600 people. All of the sponsors will be graciously thanked via radio stations and posters at the event. 

Volunteer by contacting Love and Care Ministries for more information: 
(325) 670-0246
233 Fannin Street
Abilene, Texas 79603

Need Items

  • Monetary Donations
  • Frozen Meat
  • Non-perishable Food (Pop top cans are very good)
  • Socks
  • Underwear & Thermal Underwear
  • Boots & Shoes
  • Coats
  • Blankets & Sleeping Bags
  • Clothing
  • Bottled Water & Other Drinks
  • Travel size personal hygiene items
  • Toys

Event Information

Friday, November 22, 2019


Arrow Ford

4001 South 1st Street

Contact Lisa Ridinger at

(325) 962-9500 for more information


Love and Care Ministries

(325) 670-0246

233 Fannin Street

Abilene, Texas 79603



Arrow Dealerships


4001 South 1st Street

Abilene, Texas 79605