For 17-year-old Abby Wood of Zephyr, the stops at the Sunset Terrace apartments are her favorites when she volunteers with Doers Ministries.
“I think you will know when you see the kids … to see their faces,” Wood said when asked to explain.
Wood and her 12-year-old brother, Caleb, were among about a dozen people helping deliver sack lunches Saturday to Sunset Terrace and other locations in north Brownwood.
Doers Ministries — which has also been known as Dare To Believe — is run by Paul and Gail Doerschuk and has been operating for nearly three years. The Doerschuks and their volunteer crew meet at Southside Church each Saturday mornings, where they typically prepare 150 sack lunches.
The menu: ham and cheese sandwiches, rasins, apple sauce, peanut butter and crackers and cookies.
They offer more than lunch. A small piece of paper with a Bible verse is included in each lunch. “We pray with people,” Paul Doerschuk said. “We take prayer requests. We try to help people on an individual basis.
“This gives us the opportunity to feed them physically and minister to them spiritually.”
The ministry is funded by donations from individuals, churches and business, the Doerschuks said.
The volunteers made slightly fewer lunches Saturday because they knew there would be fewer recipients due to the Fourth of July holiday.
Doers Ministries has regular “stops” including several in Sunset Terrace. In some cases, they stop at individual homes whose residents and the ministry got together through “word of mouth,” Doerschuk said.
“Everybody knows what’s going on,” he said.
Until about two months ago, Doers Ministry operated out of a leased building near the Department of Public Safety. On Saturdays, dozens of people in various phases of need showed up to eat the sack lunches, and hang out and talk.
Those numbers started to dwindle, though, as many of the “regulars” moved on. The ministry now uses Southside Church’s facilities to prepare the lunches. Many of the volunteers are Southside members.
“This is a ministry of helps,” Doerschuk said. “Everybody can contribute because some can give, some can go, some can do, some can pray …”
Around 11:30 a.m., Doerschuk, the Wood siblings and another volunteer, Lonnie Flowers, squeezed into a white Ford Freestar van packed with food.
“We’ve had as many as 50 kids in that first (Sunset Terrace) stop,” Doerschuk said. “The kids coming running. It’s pretty cool.”
Doerschuk drove the van to Sunset Terrace, where he maneuvered the van along short, narrow streets lined with parked cars.
The van stopped at several places, and the Doers Ministries crew opened up the tailgate and passed out sack lunches and juice.
As expected, the numbers of recipients were down. A dozen or so crowded around the van at each stop. Some were children on bicycles; some were young women with toddlers; some were teens.
“Hi! Where’s your sister?” Wood asked a child. “Wait, you get a juice …”
She asked a teen if he still plays tennis.
“Hi there, what’s your name? she asked a girl who answered “Christina.”
“Christina, I’m Abby,” Wood replied.
“My brother wants to know if I can get one for him,” a girl said.
Doerschuk made a reference to a nearby apartment. “They moved,” he said. “That was the lady with the baby, remember?”