With Christmas only a week away and colder temperatures upon us, people who are homeless might find more opportunities for help.
A man who says he was led to his part- time, minimum wage job by God helps those less fortunate year ’round.
Gary Allen Kidd says he’s proud to be an American, and he’s proud to have a friend like Mark Reed.
Kidd: “He’s a brother from another mother. He helps out people. He don’t want recognition. He don’t want nothing from nobody. He just wants to give them a hand-up and not a handout. Eyeball to eyeball.”
Mark knows the paths and misfortunes that can lead to homelessness.
He’s been there.
Mark Reed/Salvation Army Thrift Store: “I wasn’t a nasty drunk, but I was drunk all the time.”
Then, Mark says he had a real meeting with God.
“A spiritual meeting and it lasted a while inside my house, and from that time, I have not been able to touch alcohol since.”
Today, Mark runs the Salvation Army Thrift Store, ready to serve and offer hope to those who walk through its doors.
“Stories, heartaches, brokenness. They’re up, they’re down. That’s okay. There for them. Just love them. Help them out however we can. It might be shoes today. Might be a pair of gloves. It might be a handshake or a hug. Just let them know they’re loved and you’re there to help.”
Mark says so many people come into the Salvation Army Thrift Store day in and day out, and he helps them find what they’re looking for, but he says they always help him.
“I feel like I work for The Lord. I’m employed by the Salvation Army. It fits.”
Cheyenne Spangler/Nominated Mark: “He helps many, many people year ’round. Clothes, feeds them. He ministers to them. He’s the church without walls here in Wichita Falls. He takes them to their doctor visits. Any important appointments he has, this and that. This is all free of charge all the time.
It’s because of these things, Cheyenne Spangler wanted to pay it forward.
Cheyenne: “I knew he needed it. He uses all of his money he makes here, or whatever he gets, on someone else.”
Domain Real Estate Services: “Cheyenne, on behalf of Domain Real-Estate, thank you for nominating Mark, and Merry Christmas.”
Cheyenne: “Mark, this is for you for everything you do for everyone who needs something.”
Mark: “Thank you very much. God bless everybody. Merry Christmas.”
Kyle Nickerson: “Mark’s always been steadfast and he’s always been there to help me.” “He’ll pull that shirt off and give it to me.”
There’s no doubt in Kyle Nickerson’s mind about that.
Gary Allen Kidd feels the same way, and while Mark was reluctant to focus on his own outreach, he’d be thrilled and thankful if this story inspires others to answer a call to reach out, and help those in need.
If you’d like to help those who are homeless in Wichita Falls, or if you know of someone who needs help, here are numbers you can call.
The Salvation Army of Wichita Falls