South Central Arkansas Transit of Arkadelphia recently collected a record number of canned items — 536 — to donate to Lighthouse Ministries during its annual half-price thrift fair. Patsy Abernathy, supervisor of Arkadelphia SCAT, said the collection was the most ever they had donated during the annual fair.

South Central Arkansas Transit of Arkadelphia recently collected a record number of canned items — 536 — to donate to Lighthouse Ministries during its annual half-price thrift fair. Patsy Abernathy, supervisor of Arkadelphia SCAT, said the collection was the most ever they had donated during the annual fair.


The annual fair ran for a month before its last day Friday.


Lighthouse Ministries uses the fair — along with its thrift shop and other donations throughout the year — to serve needy families in Clark County and surrounding areas. The thrift store is operated by volunteers. All of the money raised goes directly to the non-profit organization’s food pantry. The ministry serves about 50 needy families (or about 120 people) each month, providing them with either food, toiletries, clothing or baby items. The ministry receives referrals from Clark County Department of Human Services, the Central Arkansas Development Council, local pastors and other organizations. The referring party normally chooses a family that makes just enough money to not receive any government aid, but not enough money to afford food and/or many other necessities after bills are paid.


The operation started because “there was a need to help families with needs,” Nancy Gutierrez, director of Lighthouse Ministries, said. “It was also an opportunity to minister to spread the love of God while providing their needs.”


While they mostly serve families in Clark County, they will often help others in surrounding areas until they find them other resources closer to their home.


The organization has been operating since 2003. Lighthouse Ministries is operated under the Red River Baptist Association. Some churches within the association contribute to Lighthouse Ministries either financially or by donating goods to the thrift store. Donations are also accepted during business hours at the thrift shop: Monday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The thrift store, located at 905 Highway 67 South, features clothing, household items, home decorations and toys — available for anyone to purchase.


Gutierrez said Lighthouse Ministries has been receiving more donations during the holidays because several local churches host food drives, which helps with the ministry’s annual Christmas  Food Walk, which provides holiday meals to needy families.


Lighthouse Ministries accepts items for its thrift store, canned goods, toiletries, money and/or baby items. Gutierrez asks that no large furniture be donated due to the thrift store’s limited space. All donations are tax deductible.


For more information about Lighthouse Ministries or to make a donation, contact Gutierrez or Joe Burt at 246-9524.