DALLAS — As a long line stretched outside the Inspiring Vision Compassion Center in Pleasant Grove, volunteers were inside the building hard at work distributing food, clothing and other items for families.
“I mean, it’s an overwhelming amount of people,” said Victor McCad as he watched the line increase outside.
Inside, volunteers were greeting the crowd, and taking recommended steps for health and safety.
“Please put hand sanitizer on your hands on the way in, and on the way out,” one volunteer told the group. Guests were let in a few at a time.
“We come here and serve you,” the greeter told the guests. “Everything is absolutely free.”
Dr. Teadran White and her team always expect a steady crowd of visitors at the Inspired Vision Compassion Center. However, these days, the crowds are increasing in number, partly due to schools and businesses shut down over public health concerns around COVID-19.
"We have about a thousand families a day, but nobody is in here for more than maybe 15 minutes," White said.
Sanitizing dispensers can be seen throughout the building. Volunteers are wearing gloves. Carts are wiped down regularly.
"I believe right now there is an overwhelming amount of concern for this virus. People are hungry, and nervous, and scared," McCad said.
The workers with the Compassion Center are committed to serving the community, even with the current public health challenges that are compromising neighbors’ day to day routines.
Precautions are key.
"We want everybody to be healthy and safe, but in this time of crisis, people have to have food," White said.
Life Savers Foundation’s mobile clinic, The Doctor Spot, is partnering with the Compassion Center. The group and its medical team are bringing free healthcare screenings and resources for youth 18 years old and younger on Tuesdays.
"One of the things that we are trying to do in light of this crisis that’s going on is keep people out of the emergency room," board member Jody Mow said.
Volunteers say the efforts are about the community coming together during trying times.
"You know what, we need compassion and we need understanding. Everybody needs to help each other," pastor Karen Belknap said.
Neighbors believe we’ll get through things together.
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