On Saturday, May 14, Cornerstone Baptist Church of Texarkana, Arkansas hosted “Bless The Badges.” This event included a day of shopping, music, food, family-friendly games, door prizes, and a prayer ministry. The goal of Bless The Badges was to encourage, bless, and minister to local first responders in Miller County in Arkansas and Bowie County in Texas.
With the help of 131 volunteers, this event served 170 badged personnel and families. The items donated to Bless The Badges had a total value of at least $20,000. Twenty-five known organizations and 12 churches contributed through participation during the event and donations. The prayer ministry team prayed over 75 prayer requests and 77 individuals. The organization’s goals for outreach, volunteer, donations, and ministry were exceeded, much to their delight.
Dr. David Holder, with Bless The Badges, shared many moments that he believes God is responsible for. He described many coincidental gifts they received from the beginning stages of the event to its successful end. To him, these gifts weren’t coincidences in the slightest.
A sectional couch and a queen size mattress were unintentionally ordered to donate. These items were given to two deserving families. First Baptist Church in Stamps donated cases of diapers due to a cargo truck transporting the diapers breaking down in Stamps, Arkansas. A local pregnancy center donated baby formula just as the shortage became nationwide.
Dr. Holder attested to the blessings the event received from volunteers as well. “In every case I can recall, someone in the room said, ‘I know the person you are looking for,’ or ‘I can help you on that!’” He referenced these comments exemplifying the behavior of Bless The Badges team members.
Holder expressed his gratitude toward those who served through prayer over officers and their families and other offers for spiritual guidance. “Gideons were on hand to offer Bibles, and we shared Gospel tracts from the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC),” said Dr. Holder.
Bless The Badges received blessings from God, community members’ donations, and others who volunteered to serve those that dedicate their lives to service.
Dr. Holder gained a network of experienced volunteers and a small lead team through this event. He intends to offer a model for other volunteer groups to learn from. In the future he wants to help plan more large charitable events similar to Bless The Badges and he aspires to advise those who wish to host similar events in their communities.
“Our own community has long been divided along many lines. Our officers and families need our encouragement,” said Dr. Holder when discussing the importance of local first responders receiving community support.
Support is so necessary that those who made Bless The Badges possible are considering the possibility of an annual event. Until Bless The Badges organizers decide on the recurrence of the event, community members, or those interested in showing their support, are encouraged to promote the event and participate in any capacity available.
If you’d like to learn more about Bless The Badges and how you can help visit their Facebook Page or the Southwest Arkansas Baptist Association’s website linked below.