As Texas’ coldest months bring fronts of frigid weather to Harrison County, United Help of Waskom is preparing to hand out free winter clothing at their January clothing distribution event this Saturday, Jan. 15 at 18325 U.S. 80 East from 10 a.m. to noon.
Families from the Waskom ISD area may stop by and pick out free clothes from United Help’s collection of clothing for children of all ages, men and women, separated in different closets at their distribution center.
The organization opens their closets on the third Saturday of each month and also operates a food pantry that distributes on the second Tuesday of each month.
United Help Treasurer Rose McLane said the organization aims to be a united collection of resources Waskom residents can depend on to fulfill unmet needs in the community.
“Waskom is a loving community that kind of got lost in the shuffle because we’re right on the edge of Harrison County and bordering another state,” McLane said. “When all of the leaders of United Help Waskom decided to start this organization, it was a confluence of multiple resources and services that were operating individually through different churches or organizations. We felt like if we banded together and created one organization to assist all of these different programs, we could serve our community a whole lot better.”
The organization began around four years ago, McLane said, and has distributed clothing for about three years. Although the group is known for their work with food and clothing drives, McLane said their leaders are also finding new ways to give back, like a recent partnership with the Waskom Lions Club to purchase free eyeglasses for people in need.
“We’ve already accepted the applications [for eyeglasses] and we’ve granted five sponsorship so far this year,” McLane said. “We will continue to accept applications and review them and grant more sponsorships.”
Those looking to inquire about United Help’s services or wishing to make a donation may contact McLane by calling (903) 503-2010.
McLane said they are always looking for donors who can provide clothing and food, but especially nonperishable foods like granola bars that may be packed into bags for local students. United Help leaders are asking for canned goods with pop tops, for families who may not have a can opener.
For clothing, McLane said their organization looks for seasonal items like coats and pants for the winter.
“We’re just not a food pantry or a clothing closet,” McLane said. “We’re trying to hear the needs of our community, and we’re trying to adapt or be creative.”