WINONA LAKE — A picture, it’s one of the most precious things families walk away from “We Care Warsaw,” but it wasn’t something Coordinator Dave Rank ever expected when Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church started “We Care Warsaw” 10 years ago. “We Care Warsaw” celebrated its 10 year Saturday night, Nov. 11, at Grace College’s Gordon Rec Center, continuing to help low income families in Warsaw.
“Some families would come back, and they would go and get their nails done, they would get a hair cut and they would get makeup. Then they’d go get their family picture taken, and sometimes the families would come dressed as coordinated colors. They would tell us that was the only family picture they’ve ever had taken,” explained Rank.
“We Care Warsaw” offered a fun night out for the family with dinner, a singing contest and a kid zone with bounce houses, face painting and balloon animals. While kids ran around and had a good time, parents could have a break of their own or could learn life skills. Adults could learn to make laundry detergent as well as visit career booths and more. Rank stated, “It’s our churches way of one time during the year do [giving back] in a big way that people will remember on the calendar to come and just have a great day with their family and have lots of complimentary services that encourages them at this time of the year.”
But its not just the big things “We Care Warsaw” offered families. The event allowed families to receive free haircuts and makeovers — a rare opportunity for some families.
After 10 years though, “We Care Warsaw” is anything but satisfied. Rank stated that he hopes that it continues to grow year to year. It will be looking for additional sponsors for next year in hopes to expand the event for families in Warsaw. “We’d like to keep growing the amount of other community organizations that partner with us and we partner with them…I think our goal for the next year that we’re helping them because they’re helping us too and to help them keep going,” said Rank.