FORT WORTH, Texas — For 26 years, Fort Worth Metro has made it a mission to serve children and families in under-served neighborhoods like Stop Six and Carter Park.
"We give clothing, we give groceries, we give school supplies," said executive director Ruth Calzada.
Unfortunately, they haven't been able to give any of that lately. "Metro" stands for "Mobile Effort To Reach Our City," but these days, there's nothing mobile about them.
Fort Worth Metro uses a trailer to transport and give out free toys, bikes, food and more, and uses it as a stage at outreach events. But the trailer's been sitting in a parking lot now for months. The Ford F-350 they use to haul the 15,000-pound trailer broke down.
"Back in April I was driving down the freeway and I went from about 60 to about 10 miles an hour just like that," Calzada said. "We had a complete engine failure in the truck."
That means the giveaway events they're known for have come to a halt.
Tabatha Lewis is one of the people who relies on Metro to make ends meet. She helps raise her 10 grandchildren, seven of whom live with her.
"They’ve always helped with school supplies, Christmas, groceries," Lewis, a Stop Six resident, said. "It means a whole lot because, like I said, there's seven in my house and it's kind of hard."
"I actually had a warehouse that was holding four pallets of groceries for me," Calzada said, "but I just couldn’t get the means to get out there and get those groceries, so I had to turn them away."
Calzada said the repairs are estimated at $15,000, but are not guaranteed to last. So now purchasing another truck seems like the most fiscally responsible option, she said. That will run about $30,000. Now, they're appealing to the public for help and throwing a family festival fundraiser this Saturday.
"I really want this truck to be able to reach every corner of this city with hope," Calzada said.
A hope she fears she won't be able to spread until she's mobile again.
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