Our Mission / Our Vision:
Our Mission is to feed, clothe, empower, and advocate for families in need in our community, demonstrating to them the love of God.
Our Vision is to find ways to become self-sustaining as a nonprofit so we can become a benefit to the community by providing services to families in need, beyond just providing emergency services. We collaborate with many nonprofits and service organizations throughout the community to provide channels through which we can all accomplish greater results by working together.
Our Mission simply defined is; to fulfill the plans that God has laid out for us in Psalm 82:3-4
- Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
We live in an area where the poverty rate is almost twice the national average. The next statistic may surprise you even more. One in four children in Texas (23.3%) under the age of 5 is “food insecure”—which is defined as not knowing where his or her next meal will come from. Texas has the second-highest food insecurity rate in the U.S. for all age groups…both statistics that The Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry of Waco is working to change, on a daily basis—one nutritious meal at a time. Our goal is to provide food and services to those in need. Our efforts are to feed the hungry now and find poverty ending solutions for those whom we assist.
People of all ages, races and ethnicities, and political views; suffer from hunger and its consequences, including worse health and lesser educational outcomes. The cycle of poverty is definable. If we don’t provide the proper nutrition to our children, they cannot focus on learning. They fall back in their educational development as well as their physical development.
Every Thursday at The Shepherd’s Heart Pantry from noon to 6:00pm we have a distribution of canned goods, boxed and dry staple items, meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables assisting 500 to 700 families each week. For added convenience, a drive-through is available for those who cannot stand in line. Last year, from our main pantry we provided food to just fewer than 29,000 families, 1.4 million lbs. of food. Included in those numbers are the 560 homebound seniors we deliver groceries to twice each month.
The Shepherd’s Heart has developed a creative way to fund daily operating expenses through the establishment of Things from the Heart resale store offering clothing and household items at discounted prices. The Shepherd’s Heart is a 501(c)3 organization, and 100% of proceeds from sales at Things from the Heart will go directly toward purchasing food and daily operating expenses.
At our Things from the Heart Resale, now located at 4014 Bosque Blvd. the focus of the store is to minister to those who need clothing or household items, then sell what is left to fund the pantry operations.
We assist local schools to provide clothing for students. We assist in Operation Almost Home to provide permanent housing for the homeless. Where we provide whatever they need to help them get started in a new apartment. Currently our sales from the stores are about 46% of our actual income.
We have recently expanded our facilities to create an Empowerment Center. We have had monthly meetings in the evenings to let people know the services that are coming and at the same time bring in agencies throughout the city to talk about what they do so our clients can become more aware of help that is available. We are working on putting together a series of classes to provide educational and training opportunities to address job training, cooking classes, healthy living and in general endeavor to change the “poverty mindset” so we can move those who are willing up and out of the need for continual assistance.
Starting in September in a collaborative effort with Skillpoint Alliance classes will begin to teach computer and digital literacy classes for beginners.
We are working on putting together a series of classes to provide educational and training opportunities to address job training, cooking classes, healthy living and in general endeavor to change the “poverty mindset” so we can move those who are willing up and out of the need for continual assistance.
Our Toys from the Heart program provides Christmas to homeless children. Each year Waco ISD typically has 1,300 to 1,500 children who are officially “homeless”. While there are other toy programs in the community, these children would not qualify for those programs because they do not have an address. We rent 15,000 square feet of space from the Waco Convention Center and have a party each year with games to play, food to eat, even Santa Claus with gifts for every child.
Last year we provided Christmas to 538 children. This year we expect to serve many more children because the number grows each year. We are able to accomplish this by getting churches, businesses and individuals involved in donating toys or other resources to contribute to the success of the program.
A common theme throughout all our programs is that we do it with volunteers who do it to touch others’ lives with the love of God. The real measurement has to be viewed in “did we really help someone”. While there is much work to what we do, it is a labor of love.
Shepherds Heart started with the pantry distribution operation in June, 2010. At that time the hunger needs of this area were greatly under served. Our goal was to bring resources together to create a more efficient method of using our collective resources, Since we began 7 years ago we have assisted 195,127 families, (441,691 people) over 8 million lbs. of food, volunteers, money, and time to meet the needs of families dealing with hunger.
Thank you for your support as we continue to find ways to assist hungry families and find poverty ending solutions.
Pro 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.