It would buy a lot of peanut butter.
But Tillie Burgin, executive director of Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex — and a fan of the staple’s rich, affordable nutrition — will have plenty else on her shopping list once she cashes the $35,000 check that Arlington-based Texas Health Resources presented to her agency on Friday.
It was the first major donation to the mission from the healthcare system, which includes Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Asked how the donation compares with other single donations to the mission, she replied, “Oh, my. It’s right up there. It ranks just about tops.”
Burgin, whose organization also provides free dental and medical care and counseling, said she has no special project or initiative earmarked for any of the donation. The money simply will be funneled into the well-oiled machine that has gathered and distributed food, clothes and other necessities for needy families since 1986.
“That’s what she does best,” said Kirk King, president of the Arlington hospital.
The check presentation was part of the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association’s launch of its 22nd Kaleidoscope of Homes Tour in the 2,000-acre Viridian master-planned community in north Arlington.
Kirk said the Viridian developer suggested that Texas Health Resources become a title sponsor of the event but redirect the sponsorship funds to a charity of its choice. Kirk said officials decided on a large donation to make a bigger impact in the community.
“We wanted to do something that was significant,” he said. “We’ve always been supported by the community, and this is something we do from time to time to support our community and donate to institutions where their mission aligns with our mission.”
Burgin said her cupboard goes nearly bare by the end of each day, in which she and her volunteers typically tend to 600 to 700 families who come for assistance.
Every day the mission hands out about 200 units of everything, she said. “Cans of beans, rice, corn, peas, soups, peanut butter. As long you have peanut butter, you can make it,” she added with a laugh.
In addition to restocking food, the mission is ramping up for Christmas. Last year it gave toys to 30,000 children, Burgin said. So the big donation is a big help.
“If we take care of the people that God has given us to take care of,” she said, “it will be used quickly.”