Lighthouse ministries gives back to Arkadelphia

Caroline Derby, Intern Reporter

In the uncertain times that are upon us all, organizations helping our communities are more important than ever before. The Lighthouse Ministries of Arkadelphia, located on Highway 67 South, is a part of the Red River Baptist Association. They strive to serve and aid citizens of Arkadelphia and surrounding areas. Since its opening in the early 2000s, the ministry has been providing food, clothing, and household items to people in need. The Lighthouse builds relationships with its clients and helps them spiritually as well.

During the holiday season, the Lighthouse Ministry served citizens by opening a toy shop for parents to come and collect gifts for their children, as well as providing food baskets for Christmas dinner. Debbie Files, Director of the Lighthouse Ministries of Arkadelphia, has been helping grow the ministry throughout her seven years serving in that role. “The first year, we were helping 25 to 30 families, and now it has doubled,” Files said. In the year 2020, they helped 306 people in 62 families, which included 198 children. Around the Christmas season, the Lighthouse Ministry helps who they can and considers everyone’s needs in the process. “The more people give, the more we are able to help,” Files said. The organization uses donations to assist others in every way they can. 

The Lighthouse Ministry relies heavily on the work of its volunteers and always welcomes new volunteers to serve in various capacities. From sorting clothing to working the cash register in the thrift store to preparing for clients to shop the Christmas section, a variety of jobs are needed to make things run smoothly and efficiently. Recently, however, there has been a need for volunteers. “Working a shift in the thrift store or sorting and hanging clothing are both always a great help to us,” Files said.  

For the year 2021, Files wants to continue to grow the ministry and help as many people as possible. “With corona, so many people who have not been in need before are in need now, and it will take them a while to recover. The more people we can help, the better,” Files said. She is grateful for people’s generosity who have not been as negatively affected as some due to the pandemic. They have significantly aided in continuing the mission of the Lighthouse Ministry. 

The Lighthouse is open for shopping and dropping off donations Monday through Thursday. To help prepare for Christmas 2021, buying toys on sale throughout the year and then donating them is a great way to support the ministry’s Christmastime efforts. Those toys will be put away and saved until the next Christmas season arrives. 

The Lighthouse Ministry looks forward to serving this community in the years to come. Monetary donations, as well as donating food and time, support the Lighthouse Ministry on a day to day basis. Files said, “We want everyone to know that we are here and that we care.” 

In the spirit of the New Year, if you would like to volunteer or make a donation, call (870) 246-9524.