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STARS at The Trail: Mobile Loaves & Fishes' Community First! Village

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The Community First! Village Mission:

Community First! Village is a 27-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, this transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.

About the Trail of Lights STARS Program

The STARS Program Presented by Vista Equity Partners honors the service of over a dozen nonprofit community organizations by offering an exclusive preview of the Trail of Lights.

As a 2016 STARS Sponsor, Kendra Scott Design spreads the holiday cheer of the Trail of Lights to the residents of the Community First! Village. Their sponsorship allows participants an exclusive look at the Trail with a private tour of all the lights, magic & fun! If you're interested in becoming a STARS Sponsor, visit our STARS at the Trail information page here!

Interview: Thomas Aitchison, Communications Director of Mobile Loaves & Fishes

What's the best part about the holidays at your organization?

The joy of the Christmas season is something that everyone deserves to experience. We enjoy empowering the community around us to come alongside Mobile Loaves & Fishes and serve our homeless neighbors who are in need. Men and women living on the streets are in need of more than just a warm meal during the holidays–they are in need of relationships, community, and the dignity that comes through connecting human to human, heart to heart with other loving, caring individuals. When volunteers with Mobile Loaves & Fishes engage relationally with our homeless brothers and sisters, the hope and joy of the season is magnified in a beautiful way.

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What are your constituents looking forward to most at the Trail of Lights?

Our friends look forward to the joyful experience of simply being together at The Trail of Lights. The holiday cheer that many of us are blessed with during the Christmas season when we’re together with our families is something an individual who’s used to living on the streets just doesn’t get to experience. So, being able to bring a group of our friends out to experience the sights and sounds of the Trail of Lights together–much like a family would do–is an opportunity that promises to put smiles on a lot of faces.

How can people help your organization this holiday season (and beyond)?

Mobile Loaves & Fishes desires to inspire and empower the community around us into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. We have numerous volunteer opportunities available through our food truck ministry and also at our Community First! Village development. Most folks are amazed at the way in which they feel blessed simply by putting themselves out there to be a blessing to others–so we encourage you to get involved! More information on volunteer opportunities is available on Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ website at www.mlf.org/volunteer.

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What is your organization looking forward to most in the New Year?

We’re looking to forward to the continued blessing of serving our homeless neighbors and helping to renew their hope and dignity. One of the main ways we’ll be doing this in the year ahead is lifting our homeless friends up off the streets and giving them a place to call home at Community First! Village. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Community First! is a 27-acre master planned community in northeast Austin that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for chronically homeless men and women. This transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding of community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. Learn more how you can become a part of the revolution in Goodness happening at Community First! Village at www.mlf.org/community-first.

A Big Thank You to Kendra Scott Design, Community First!'s 2016 STARS Program Sponsor!

How else does Kendra Scott Design engage with the community?

Whether it’s a national charity, a hometown crisis, a local organization or a friend in need, Kendra Gives Back is an initiative that has donated $1M and 50,000 pieces of jewelry just within the last twelve months. Additionally, through partnerships with individuals, local and national charities, Kendra Scott hosts a variety of unique store events, where 20% of the proceeds benefit a cause. For more information on Kendra Gives Back, click here!

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