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Helen Epps thought it was just another day working hard to help her community. The founder and leader of Morning Star Prayer Resource Center has partnered with World Vision to provide food and essentials to nearly 70,000 North Texans struggling due to the pandemic and winter storms. As Epps waited for her weekly relief distribution from World Vision to serve those in need, she had no idea what she was about to receive: a special surprise to honor her work in helping her community weather this historically challenging year.

Roberta Taylor with World Vision led a team of partners and volunteers to the Morning Star Prayer Resource Center in Fort Worth. In addition to the 50 Family Emergency Kits, full of food, PPE, hygiene items and school supplies they brought for those in need, the team also surprised Helen with a plaque, flowers and balloons to acknowledge her dedication to the community.

Epps could not believe her eyes as she looked around at the much-needed food and supplies that she would give to North Texans in need, and finding smiling faces who were there just to see and celebrate this dynamic lady.

“Elder Epps has been so instrumental in assisting World Vision in getting items needed out to the community,” noted Roberta Taylor of World Vision during her presentation to Epps. “On a personal note, I have known Elder Epps for years and she’s always been the same: She’s a giver, someone who always helps out in the community. World Vision just wanted to honor her for her selflessness and service.” 

More North Texans are in need now than ever before as the COVID pandemic rages on and families are left having to choose between electricity or food, or even be forced to go without either one. Morning Star Prayer Center is one of the many organizations who are able to carry out their vision of caring for the community with help from World Vision, a worldwide non-profit making a difference in local communities.

Thanking her partners in the community who help make distributions possible, Epps pointed to their collaborative work as she graciously accepted her acknowledgement. “We didn’t do it on our own; we did it because of our partners, and they make it possible,” Epps said. “Thank you, World Vision, for helping us help our community around the state of Texas and beyond.”

World Vision’s pandemic response over this past year has so far helped 602,739North Texans with family emergency kits and boxes of fresh food that have equated to 3.3 million meals served during the pandemic alone. Also included in the boxes is very important PPE and educational supplies to help families keep themselves healthy. All told, World Vision’s combined efforts across the U.S. have resulted in more than 1.5 million PPE products distributed to its partner organizations, including churches and other organizations.

The Morning Star Prayer Center, just one of World Vision’s many partner organizations, during the pandemic has given out 111,244 meals to 68,655 people, including 37,881 children in one of the most underserved and vulnerable areas in Fort Worth.