Embrace Hope Southwest Oklahoma will hand out free food packages on a first come, first served basis at 9 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the old Gibson building, 1130 Lee Blvd.

Anyone who finds themselves in need is eligible to receive a food package while they are available. There will be enough boxes for the first 800 families.

Protocols will be in place to enforce social distancing measures, according to Brenda Spencer-Ragland, who is helping organize the event.

“When anyone that may need love arrives at the site, they are guided by road signs directing them to keep their windows down. As they follow a path to the back of our building they will be provided two boxes of food and personal hygiene products,” Spencer-Ragland said.

Through support from local church groups, supporters and individual contributors Spencer-Ragland was able to raise $17,000 in food for the event. Volunteers from Fort Sill National Bank, U.S. Sen. James Lankford’s office, RE/MAX professionals and elsewhere will be on hand to help distribute the boxes.

“All we ask, for those in need, pull up, roll down your window and allow us to provide you a blessing. The volunteers will have face masks, gloves and the food is boxed, so we will simply hand the food to those in need,” Spencer-Ragland said.

The masks for volunteers were donated by the Wichita Mountain Quilt Guild and Dr. Robert Kern and Marnie Kern, according to Spencer-Ragland, who called the act of charity a blessing.

“During times such as this, it can be a challenge to find the good, but the good is all around us, and this event helps highlight that good,” Spencer-Ragland said. “I am amazed, and proud, of the people of our community that truly just want to show love, support and share hope with others. That’s what Embrace Hope is about.”

The full-scale Embrace Hope event is planned for Oct. 10. That event will bring together many services to help individuals all under one umbrella.

“If someone needs a haircut, they will be able to get one. They need a job, or educational opportunities, we will connect them. If they need medical, chiropractic care or dental care, support with housing, we will connect them to those services,” Spencer-Ragland said. “Embrace Hope is simply about providing hope and connecting individuals to needed services for a resilient life, a resilient community.”

Packages will be handed out until they are gone. For more information, visit Embrace Hope Southwest Oklahoma online at facebook.com/embracehopeswok.

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