Season of Warmth to return to Jesus House

After the success of last year’s event, the Jesus House of Odessa is back with its Season of Warmth.

Last year, the Jesus House had its inaugural event and this year, they have decided to bring it back.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Jesus House of Odessa, which is located on 1335 E. 6th Street.

Free backpacks will be loaded with goodies to anyone in need and a free enchilada meal will be served as well.

Faith Temple Fellowship Pastor Donny Kyker says this event is a way of telling the community thanks for all the help during the year.

“Anybody that comes not only gets a full Mexican meal but they also get a backpack,” Kyker said. “Everyone gets a backpack. If you’re homeless, you get a backpack that has thermals in it and they’ll also get a tent sleeping bag and things like that. There are goodies in each backpack. If you’re not homeless, you get a backpack as well and in that one, you don’t get thermals but all the others like snacks, gloves, hand warmers, things like that. It’s our way to say thanks for the community for all their work throughout the year.”

In last year’s first edition of the event, Kyker said that they had about 275 people come through.

“We’re not real sure about the numbers for this year but we’re preparing for bigger numbers but you never know in this day and time,” Kyker said. “People are still a little skittish about COVID. Last year, when we opened up, more people were able to get out of their home, so to speak. People were moving around more freely after being cooped up. We’re not sure how the crowd will be this year but we’re preparing for 300.”

While the backpacks for this year are already made, Kyker said that anybody who wants to donate backpacks can still do so.

“We have hundreds of backpacks so it’s not a big need that we have but they can help us replenish for next year,” Kyker said. “So what we’d do is put those up in storage for the next Season of Warmth which will be the day before Thanksgiving and that way, we’ll be prepared again and work ahead of the game. We’ve been working on this for months to be prepared for next week.”

Kyker acknowledged all those who have helped put together this year’s Season of Warmth.

“We were so blessed this year,” Kyker said. “Mid-Cities Church does a serve day here with us and they came in and we had a list of items that we needed for each backpack and it was like an assembly line and they prepared probably over 200 backpacks that day, if not more. Then we have people in the community who will be bringing us enchiladas, beans and rice. Monday, my staff and I will be making more beans and rice for that as well.”

There will be about 20 volunteers helping out this year on Wednesday and Kyker says that should be enough.

“We don’t need any more volunteers,” Kyker said. “We have our mayor and some city council members and our county judge, they’re coming out. They were here last year and they’ll be here again this year. We’re excited about that.”

Weather permitting, Kyker says they are hopeful about having the event outside.

“We’ll be watching the weather. Weather permitting, we’re going to have some outside dining but if not, we’ll have to bring some more tables into our building and be able to be inside,” Kyker said. “As it is right now, we’re hoping to do inside and outside dining. They can also get a plate and get it to go. They don’t have to stay.”

If you go

  • What: Season of Warmth.
  • When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 24.
  • Where: 1335 E. 6th Street.