ALVIN, Texas — A donated white refrigerator stands in the parking lot of Garcia’s Auto Detail Shop in Alvin.
The fridge is plugged in and available for food donations. From yogurt to eggs to bread, neighbors in Alvin can donate what they’d like and people in need can take what they need.
Surveillance cameras and parking lot lights provide security to the community-wide project that started out as a Facebook group in 2014.
Katie Quirk says she started the Alvin HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) Facebook group to help lower to middle income residents get help with basic necessities and household items in an non-judgmental environment.
"Alvin isn’t the most rich community in the area," said Quirk. "And so there’s a lot of need in our town."
Alvin HOPE is an easy place to donate your old furniture, kitchenware or clothing, because there is always someone in need. The group has become a community of people helping people.
From new mothers asking for help with formula, to the elderly looking for advice on where to find a lower cost prescription, people from across Alvin, Texas and the surrounding communities have found purpose in Alvin HOPE.
In 2018, the outpouring of support grew beyond the digital walls of the Facebook group and Alvin Hope became a non-profit organization in June 2018 with volunteers dedicated to the Pay it Forward movement.
The community fridge was set up earlier this month and six “blessing boxes” which were created and setup by local organizations and churches are positioned throughout the Alvin area.
"About 10 years ago we lost our jobs the same week, I think it was," recalled Quirk. She and her family leaned on neighbors for help. "I made it through it and I can tell you my story and I can tell you it will be okay. Just keep going forward."
The boxes allow a safe space for blanket, jacket and book donations along with a place for people to donate canned foods.
“This is Zayden. Zayden wanted to help his mommy feed hungry people. He went through his family’s pantry and Mommy is driving him to each box to help fill,” read a Facebook post on Alvin Hope’s page. “Future of tomorrow!”
For a list of all the Alvin Hope locations: https://alvinhope.com/food-banks