Lytle and Natalia families were so grateful for the assistance, and the 200 families who came showed the true and sincere need for this wonderful community service. Some families started lining up at 7 am and waited for 3+ hours for the food distribution which was scheduled to take place from 10:30am-12:30.
Natalia ISD Board President and Gateway Fellowship Church member Eric Smith was contacted by Gateway Fellowship Church Officials Wednesday and asked if it would be possible to set up a food give-away to the Natalia and Lytle Communities in a short notice due to a sudden donation of food.
Smith contacted future Gateway Fellowship-Church Lytle Pastor Brandon Smith who lives outside of Pearsall-Bigfoot and the work began for a quick organization.
Smith’s first call was to Natalia ISD Interim Superintendent Lana Collavo and Athletic Director Ilyan Martinez. Both were excited and offered Natalia ISD Facilities and vehicles if needed as well as assistance from the coaching staff. Smith also contacted Lytle ISD Superintendent Michelle Smith and AD Lori Wilson who pledged support.
The event was tentatively set for Friday, but due to transportation delay of the food it would have to be organized for Saturday.
Due to it being Memorial Weekend- they feared volunteers would be tied up on Saturday, but Coach Martinez quickly spoke up and told Smith–
“Do not cancel this event. We are servants of this community, this is a great cause and I will assure you have the support to make this possible.”
On Saturday, coaching staff and church volunteers left Natalia at 8:00am and met Pastor Brandon Smith in Helotes to load a refrigerated truck full of 200+ boxes of fresh produce and fruit for the communities.
Folks had line-up as early as 7:00am in Natalia showing the true need in our local communities.
40+ volunteers from Natalia ISD, Lytle ISD and Gateway Fellowship put together an awesome event with support also from Natalia PD and the Medina County Sheriff’s Office who also assisted.
“I am blessed with such short notice, this was made possible thanks to 40+ volunteers, Eric Smith said. “I can’t say thank you enough to Pastor Brandon Smith for organizing the church side of volunteers along with Coach Martinez , Coach Wilson, Head Football Coach of Lytle RT McConathy, Superintendent Michelle Smith, and Board President of Lytle ISD Leeanna Mask for their support on Saturday!”
“This was an awesome event and I am hopeful we will be able to do another one in the near future,” Smith adds.
Gateway Fellowship Church is located in Helotes and also has campuses in Bandera and Kerrville.
There are numerous members from our area and who stated that they are hopeful in the near future Gateway will be able to open a new Lytle Campus in our community.
A special thank you to the 40+ amazing volunteers who made this event possible, and to Lytle ISD Superintendent Michelle Smith, Lytle ISD Board President LeeAnna Mask, Lytle AD Lori Wilson, Lytle Head FB Coach RT McConathy and staff; Natalia AD-Head Football Ilyan Martinez, Natalia Board President Eric Smith and coaching staff, as well as future Pastor for Gateway Fellowship in Lytle– Brandon Smith.