It all started ahead of Thanksgiving last year when Sherri Callahan, a Tecumseh Park Estates resident and volunteer at the Waxahachie CARE food pantry, put the word out in a community Facebook group that the pantry was short on canned fruit.

The response from Tecumseh residents was overwhelming.

“I put a big bin in front of my front door and told them about Waxahachie CARE and that we needed cans of fruit and they would just drop it off at my front door and leave it in the bin,” Callahan explained. “They just pull together.”

After seeing the outpouring of support from residents, LaDonna Gutierrez, who also resides in the Tecumseh neighborhood, decided it would be a good idea to take the initiative a step further after Thanksgiving.

Residents in the Facebook group were asked to donate winter gear such as gloves, hats and scarves ahead of the winter season. The collection drive was yet another success with three to four grocery bags full of items collected from Dec. 1 to 23.

“When needs arise, so many people want to help out when they can,” Waxahachie CARE Facility Coordinator Donna Williams said. “They just need to be aware of the need.” We’re all one step, one disaster away from being in need as well.”

Hundreds of families are impacted by the pantry, located at 1208 Ferris Ave.

“They’re very appreciative. You just don’t know until you walk in their shoes how they got in the situation where they need extra help,” said Callahan who has been volunteering with the nonprofit for over three years.

Callahan said she and her Tecumseh neighbors hope to organize a community collection drive every year.

Waxahachie CARE is always in need of donations as it provides some 1,500 pounds of food every day. It also needs monetary donations to cover various bills to keep the facility in operation.

To learn more, call 972-923-2273, visit waxahachiecare.org or search for “Waxahachie CARE” on Facebook.