Beard Benevolent Center
To share and reflect God's love to everyone in need. We want to provide opportunities for a brighter future for families in need. We strive to do this by doing the following:
1. Food for the Hungry
2. Clothes for the Needy
3. Build Self-esteem
4. Offer classes and counseling in budgeting, parenting, and seeking employment.
5. Assist in finding education and training opportunities.
6. Become Christian Mentors.
Some pantries have very strict guidelines and are very limited to who they will help and how much help they will give. We too try to help those who demonstrate a genuine need, but we try very hard to do this in a loving and considerate manner. Need is the only requirement for assistance. We do not discriminate because of race, gender, age, or religious beliefs. Clients are allowed to "shop" with the assistance of our volunteers for the food and clothing their family can use.
The Beard Benevolent Center is operated out of a small 4 room house which was donated to the Rockwall & Brin Church of Christ by the Beard Family. In August, 1995 the Center was opened by the ladies of the congregation with contributions of clothing and food from individuals.
In 1996 the Center operated on a budget of $5,000 from individual contributions. The pressing need of this service became more evident as the work continued. More and more people came to the Center for food and clothing.
In July of 1997, the Center began purchasing food from the North Texas Food Bank at a cost of $.14 per lb. In the last 6 months of 1997 the Center supplied food for 706 families or 2,014 people. Holiday food baskets were given to 61 seniors and shut-ins. Christmas presents were provided for 10 children.
In 1998 the congregation included the work of the Center in its annual budget. A Memorial Fund was started, and supporters started saving aluminum cans to recycle and donate the funds to the Center. The congregation also collected funds for a Back-to-School drive to help with school supplies for families in need.
In 1999 , 3329 families or 9760 individuals were helped with food at an average cost of $3.71 per family. For those served on a weekly basis, this represents a retail value of $236.51 per month. That's money saved by the family that can be used for housing, utilities, medical bills, etc... In addition, 410 children were given backpacks and basic school supplies through the Back-to-School program.
In 2000, 12,234 people, 3,734 families (920 different families, an average of 4 visits this year) were served with food, clothing, job counseling, and Christian Mentoring. 49.8% were under 18 years of age, 10% were over 60, 29% of those working age were employed but low income, and 29 percent of working age were on disability. 400 school children were supplied backpacks and school supplies. 18 families with great need were helped with Christmas presents and meals. Several people requested prayers and have been prayed for regularly by the congregation's "Prayer Warriors".
The need for assistance is continually rising as the community grows. We continue to purchase food from the North Texas Food Bank. Every other week we receive a delivery of produce at no charge from the food bank. All of our clothing items are donated by members of the congregation and the community. The center is open every Thursday from 9:00 - 4:00 p.m. and is operated by a staff of over 50 volunteers.
The Lord has surely blessed this work. He has used us to help so many, but we feel there is more to be done. With the increased need of services there is a need for better facilities. It is our dream to be able to build a new facility with adequate storage room, classrooms, and "shopping" space. We hope to be able to grow to meet the growing needs of our community.
To learn more about the Beard Benevolent Center and its work please contact the center at 972-551-1729 or stop by and visit during our working hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. every Thursday. We are located at 505 N. Rockwall, Terrell, Texas.