The Reality of How We Get Hundreds of Donated Semi Loads: Ministry 101
Some people don't understand the real cost of running a ministry and the work that goes into getting product to our community. It's more than a small pantry with cans of food, a church worship service, and handing out our product, it's really about the day-to-day operations. That can include breaking down boxes, organizing pallets, mopping floors, cleaning messes, packing bags and boxes, paying bills, filling up gas tanks, running pallet jacks, delivering the product to ministries, and so much more. That's what makes up a ministry like ours.
"It takes a lot of sacrifices to do what we do, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
When someone calls with a load that is gonna be donated it can either be down the road or 4 states over. These loads vary all the time from drinks, hand sanitizer, chips, food, and an assortment of other things. The only word we say around here is, yes. Yes, we'll take it, because we know we have the manpower, and God has the plan.
We never let anything get in the way of what we do every day, which is being a blessing, even if it costs us.
The best part of all of this is we believe in sowing and reaping, so everything we sow, we get back 10 fold.
Every single truckload we get, is another truckload being sent out to help families in need.
An example of the value of what we do.
A case of this cleaner is $40, we can put 36 pallets (42 cases per pallet ) in our semi with double stacking and weight.
Value = $60,480
We get these products donated to us all year long for free, for disasters.
We figure about $2500 a load is what it costs us, averaging everything we do. Gas, brokering, costs, etc.
If you go to Home Depot and spend $2500.00, you get
62.5 cases which is pallet and a half, before even paying to deliver it to an area.
That’s an example, but what we like to do, is put a mixed load of a little bit of everything.
Most loads leave out of our warehouse with, some sort of liquid cleaner, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, drinks, and food.
This last week we have been sending box trucks and semi loads to certain organizations with nothing but cleaning supplies because that’s what they are asking for.
So what are we doing with this stuff now?
The Freedom Tour is currently delivering these kinds of products to people in need in Fort Meyers and Punta Gorda areas due to Hurricane Ian's destruction. Disaster Relief has always been the main part of our ministry even when it's out of state, but especially when it's in our state. We know Hurricanes are just a part of being in Florida so we make sure we are ready to go when the time comes.
These people may have lost absolutely everything they have ever owned, so meeting basic needs now matters more than it ever has.
How do we run such a huge operation?
If we had to answer that in one word it would be God. He sends us everything we have ever needed to run this operation, giving us the knowledge, wisdom, money, contacts, people to help, and products we need at the exact time we need them.
More specifically, we are mainly run by the support of our community and our amazing church in Eloise that sits 250 people. They consist of our main volunteer base, funds, and support, along with many other ministries we have partnered with to make this all work together. Without our volunteers, there would be a lot more work to do for us here, we are forever grateful for our Freedom family.
Our founder, Bobby Williams, never expected to be a part of the trucking business and knew almost nothing about it going into when he started this food pantry back in 2016. Now we own 5 trucks and counting, we connect with companies all over the US in need of donation sites for semi loads, and we run all this out of an old Sears building in Lake Wales that is currently packed out with product. He says it's wisdom from God, knowing who to call, what to do, and how to do it.
If you are interested in volunteering for us, visit our volunteer page on our website, www.thefreedomtour.org/volunteer
If you are intereted in giving financially visit our main page www.thefreedomtour.org and click "Give" to be directed.