Helping the homeless
Big Monday issue! We look at a local ministry that lends a helping hand, the upcoming Oktoberfest and more.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
“I wasn’t looking to create a ministry. I just wanted to help those going through hard times. It was a message of hope.”
Tiffani Conner (foreground) and volunteers with Being His Hands & Feet Ministry prepare Blessing Bags to give to homeless people, foster families and single-parent families in the Temple and Belton area.
Temple woman’s ministry provides hope and help to people in need
By DAVID STONE, Our Town exclusive
Thanks to the efforts of a Temple woman and her ministry, life is a little better for hundreds of homeless and single-parent families.
Tiffani Conner started her Being His Hands & Feet ministry in April 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 shutdown.
“I wasn’t looking to create a ministry,” she said. “I just wanted to help those going through hard times. It was a message of hope.”
“We set up a drive-thru prayer service in the Walmart parking lot on South 31st Street,” she said. “That’s how we started, and it’s grown from there.”
Tiffani and her growing group — there’s about 20 regular volunteers and many more who help with events — started passing out Blessing Bags to those in need. So far, nearly 1,000 bags have been distributed.
“A Blessing Bag is a backpack with three gallon-size bags inside,” she explained. “One of the bags contains toiletry items such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, a brush or comb and razors and shaving cream. The second bag is full of snacks such as granola bars, peanut butter crackers, jerky, cookies, trail mix and fruit. The third bag has socks and underwear.”
While distributions take place throughout the Temple and Belton area, Being His Hands & Feet is headquartered at Hope for the Hungry in Belton.
Tiffani said the ministry’s initial parking-lot prayer services were met with a bit of skepticism.
“COVID was new and people were cautious, but they were hungry for faith,” she said. “They wanted to pray and they wanted someone to pray for them.”
Soon, lines began to form and hundreds of Central Texans joined the group in prayers.
The ministry has started a Blessing Boutique, located at 627 Hope for the Hungry Street in Belton. The Boutique provides clothing, furniture, household items and home decor to those in need.
“We don’t charge a cent for anything,” Tiffani said. “All of our merchandise is donated and we give it to those in need.”
With cooler weather on the horizon, needs are changing. Warm clothes, blankets, chapstick and sleeping bags will soon be in demand, along with basic necessities such as toiletries.
Tiffani and her ministry welcome donations from the public and the group has four drop-off locations.
Items may be taken to Twice Upon a Clothesline in downtown Temple, The Healthy Hive in Academy or Hope for the Hungry in Belton. People in the Troy area can call (254) 421-8318 to make donation arrangements.
The ministry hopes to distribute an additional 500 Blessing Bags before the end of the year.
“We have two big events coming up,” Tiffani said. “We have a Grateful Gala in November and Project: Christmas Hope in December.”
The Grateful Gala — set for 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at Feed My Sheep — is a catered meal for 50 homeless people.
“It’s a time to remember that because of the hope we have in Jesus, we can be grateful at all times,” she said. “We are excited to provide love to homeless folks who are making efforts to elevate themselves out of their situations.”
For the Grateful Gala, Feed My Sheep will be decorated for a 5-star dining experience, Tiffani said.
“There will be a catered meal, entertainment, gift bags for each guest and Blessing Bags filled with basic needs.”
The ministry’s Project: Christmas Hope will be held Dec. 17 at the New Day Learning Academy’s gym and will benefit about 100 kids at the school.
“We will be getting Christmas lists from 100 very low income children,” she said. “We will choose five specific gifts off their list and have them at New Day Learning Academy for Project: Christmas Hope. Then, on Dec. 17, the kids’ moms, dads or guardians can come and purchase all five gifts for $5.”
The $5 charge doesn’t come close to covering the cost of the gifts and that isn’t the intended purpose, Tiffani explained.
“It gives the parents dignity,” she said. “It allows them to provide Christmas for the kids. They will be able to shop our winter wonderland and choose the gifts off their child’s list. The kids will have an exceptional Christmas, and the parents will help provide that.”
The ministry will provide gift wrapping and stocking stuffers at the event.
Financial donations to Being His Hands & Feet Ministry can be made by PayPal at paypal.me/BeingHisHandsandFeet or through CashApp at $TiffaniConner.
Jetzt geht’s ab! Yep, it’s time to party — Bavarian style.
Mike & The Middletones, a popular German-music band, will be one of the acts performing during Temple’s First Friday Oktoberfest. Other bands include Jerry Haisler & The Melody 5, and Accord-a Princess & The Polka Posse.
Let the good times flow: Brews and polka tunes among Oktoberfest fun
By DAVID STONE, Our Town update
Get ready for some German food, beer and music — Temple’s First Friday is celebrating Oktoberfest!
First Friday is always a good time. Usually there are a couple of block parties and specials just about everywhere. On Oct. 1, however, there’s going to be plenty to oompah about.
Instead of two block parties, there are going to be at least six. Maybe more.
Let’s start on 1st Street where there will be three block parties and other activities.
The street in front of Fire Base Brewing Company will be transformed into a party zone complete with a special Oktoberfest beer brewed for the First Friday event.
“We will be releasing our annual Oktoberfest Beer brewed right here in downtown Temple,” said J.D. McBride, co-owner of Fire Base Brewing.
“We will be shutting down First Street and hosting axe throwing, live music by Mike & The Middletones and food by Check Point Germany.”
Check Point is a popular food truck that cooks up German specialities such as Schnitzel and kraut.
“We encourage everyone to wear traditional German attire if they own it,” McBride said. “We will be decorating the street and our space for the event.”
A short distance south but still on 1st Street, the road will be closed for parties at Treno Pizzeria & Taproom and at Mexiko Cafe.
“We’re going to have DJ Torres playing a mix of upbeat and lively music,” said Diana Zavala of Mexiko Cafe. “We’re working on other entertainment, but we will have vendors set up in the street. Trenos will have some things going on outside on the same block, and I’m sure it will run together.”
Trenos will offer half-priced prices on select beers from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and outside activities will include vendor booths and music.
There also will be special activities at The Yard Food Plaza, located at the south end of 1st Street, including a live performance by Accord-a Princess & The Polka Posse from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
At least five food trucks will be at The Yard and most will be having First Friday specials. One of the trucks — Chock Full of Cheese — will add a special Oktoberfest Reuben to its line of gourmet grilled cheeses just for the night.
A large block party will be held on 2nd Street in front of Corky’s, The Hub, Pignetti’s and 2nd Street Emporium.
“The popular local band Jerry Haisler & The Melody Five will be performing from 7 to 9 p.m., and we will have several vendors set up,” said Holley Gosh, a spokesperson for The Hub. “The street will be blocked off, and a local photographer will be taking wonderful family photos with hay bales and pumpkins. I believe proceeds from the photos will benefit the Temple Children’s Museum.”
In addition, The Hub will be open until 8 p.m. and shoppers will enjoy refreshments including beer and wine.
“Corkys is going to have a German food truck and a taco truck will be set up near Pignetti’s,” Gosh said. “We encourage people to bring lawn chairs.”
Sally Myers of 2nd Street Emporium, an antique shop that specializes in vintage items, said a band that plays 1980s rock will be performing in front of her store.
Nami Japanese Steak & Sushi will offer First Friday specials on food and drink, including $3 California Sushi rolls, $5 jalapeño bombs and an $8 monster sushi roll.
At Cheeves Brothers Steak House, take a pick of half-priced appetizers and beverages from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in their bar and lounge.
Ras Kitchen will be celebrating “Jerktoberfest” starting at 5 p.m. featuring music from DJ Selectah Spida Tech on the patio and a jerk-flavored menu.
The Parlour Antiques & Oddities, located at the Kyle Hotel building, will be open until 8 p.m. and will feature two shows (at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.) by magician Gavin McNaney. Guests will have the opportunity to spin the Parlour’s First Friday Prize Wheel. There will be discounts throughout the store, and with every purchase over $65, guests will be entered to win a taxidermy deer.
Robert M. Reed will be live at O’Briens Irish Pub and appetizers will be 20 percent off if you mention First Friday. Artist Noel Johnson will be selling art on the sidewalk next to O’Briens.
Be sure and try an Oktoberfest Burgerwurst burger special at Bird Creek Burger Co. The popular restaurant also will have half-priced appetizers (except chili) and happy hour prices all day.
Papa G’s food truck will be at BJ’s Brewery & Tasting Room to help celebrate the release of two seasonal beers — Oktoberfest lager and Pumpkin ale.
There will be $2 margaritas at Mo’s Railyard Saloon, 20 percent off fall-related merchandise at Darlin Decor & More, and a 20 percent off an appetizer plus a piano performance by Russell Boyd at the Green Door.
At Main Street Courtyard, Artist 2 Artist will showcase artwork created by new and upcoming artists. Sugar skulls prepared for a Day of the Dead art show in late October will be among the works on display at First Friday. There also will be face painters, vendors, crafters, live art and music at this location.
J. Kowboy Wine Bar, Thai Cafe, La Dalat, T Town Energy & Nutrition, and Pignetti’s also will be open and have specials during First Friday.
A Model T car show will be in full swing during First Friday’s Oktoberfest.
“We will be in Temple five days, and we plan on visiting downtown during First Friday,” said group spokesman Hugh Hemphill.
For First Friday, the car club will be parked in the City Hall parking lot throughout the evening.
The next day, about 12 of the Model T’s will be on display at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the museum’s Transportation Family Day.
“Our focus will be on the Model T’s,” said museum spokeswoman Catherine Dodd. “We are excited so we are opening a half hour early.”
OUR TOWN SNAPSHOT
Hot weather may not be totally behind us for the year, but there’s definitely a feel of fall in the air. Transform Temple — a city department that focuses on preserving and enhancing neighborhoods — has placed about 85 hay bales on street corners in downtown Temple and at Santa Fe Plaza, and city staff has attached autumn decorations. Heavy traffic is expected downtown this weekend for an Oktoberfest edition of First Friday. David Stone photo
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Construction on the project to convert the 97-year-old Professional Building into the Central Plaza apartments continues on Central Avenue. VMR Properties is building 19 apartment in the six-story building, which will include a wading pool lounge on the rooftop. The bottom of the building will include retail space. The project should be completed in 2022. David Stone photo
WHAT’S HAPPENING CENTRAL TEXAS
September 27, Monday - Teen Craft Corner at Temple Public Library for ages 12 to 18. 5 p.m.
Bell County Senior Expo is Tuesday
Our Town reports
The Bell County Senior Expo showcases businesses, organizations and activities around Central Texas that makes the local area a “senior friendly” place to live.
This year’s Expo will be from 8:30 a.m. until noon Tuesday at the Bell County Expo Center. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.
More than 90 vendors will present information on nutrition and fitness, housing, financial planning, pharmaceuticals, volunteer opportunities, hobbies and recreational opportunities.
Representatives from Walgreens will be at the Expo to provide free flu shots.
In addition to the educational aspect, there will be entertainment, giveaways and drawings for prizes, including the opportunity to win a 70-inch television.
At 10 a.m. in the upstairs Special Events room (there’s an elevator), Renee Owens, Kathleen Brown and Jackie Wernli — three breast cancer survivors — will tell their stories.
September 28, Tuesday - Baby Bookworms (ages 0 to 12 months), Book sharing, rhymes, songs, exercises. Temple Public Library. 11 a.m.
September 29, Wednesday - School-Age Story Time (K-3rd Grade), Short films, stories, constructive play. Temple Public Library. 4:15 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - TLC’s Celebration of Crazy, Sexy Cool with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Bell County Expo Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - Funniest Comic in Texas semi-finals. Corky’s.
October 1, Friday - Oktoberfest in Downtown Temple. In conjunction with First Friday. Block parties throughout the entertainment district.
October 1, Friday - Randy Rogers Band, Johnny Steaks and Bar-Be-Que, Salado. 6 p.m.
October 1, Friday - Mark Richey and two-stepping’ fun at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
October 2, Saturday - Transportation Family Day. Experience the largest gathering of Model T cars in the state of Texas and explore the history of the first automobile. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
October 2, Saturday - Preschool Story Time, Stories, songs, literacy activities. Recommended for children 3 to 5 years old. Temple Public Library, 10:30 a.m.
October 2, Saturday - Dave Jorgenson and his unique Texas music at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
October 3, Sunday - Keys for the Kingdom, a concert with four pianists on four grand pianos. First Baptist Church in Temple. Free admission! 6 p.m.
October 3, Sunday - Temple Civic Theater’s annual Bazaar Thrift Sale & Blood Drive. Rummage through racks of clothes and tables packed with fun finds. TCT facemarks, wristbands, mugs and memberships also will be on sale. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 5, Tuesday - Temple’s National Night Out. 6:30 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - The Spazmatics, Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton. 6 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - Teen Dungeons & Dragons: Beginners Program. Temple Public Library. 5 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - Taproom Trivia at Fire Base Brewing Company. Compete for bragging rights and brewery prizes. 7 p.m.
October 8, Friday - Painting with a Twist, 3 Texans Winery. 6:30 p.m.
October 8, Friday - Branded Heart live at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
October 8, Friday - Ethan Smith & The Dirt Revolution will be at O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Pre-Historic Fundraiser, Tiny Hooves Rescue & Petting Zoo. Seaton Star Hall. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Dark Explorers Paranormal Team will host a public investigation at The Book Cellar. No open-toe shoes. Bring Your Own Flashlight. 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
October 9, Saturday - Fall Festival Farmer’s Market. Walker Honey Farm. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - John Christopher Way and his crowd-pleasing music live at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Fall Craft Extravaganza. Make leaf lanterns, fall wreaths, shrinky dinks, more. Temple Public Library, 2 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Downtown Temple Farmer’s Market. 2 North Main. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Shinyribs, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 11-17 - Hocus Pocus, The Beltonian Theatre, Belton. Noon.
October 12, Tuesday - Czech Film Night at The Beltonian. Free admission. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
October 15, Friday - Dancing music with Hyway Traveler at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Van Cliburn Recital featuring Yekwon Sunwoo. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Belton. 7:30 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - West Temple Oktoberfest. 3 West Alehouse & Grill. 11 a.m.
October 16, Saturday - 35 South burns up the dance floor at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - St. Luke Fest 2021, raffle, petting zoo, live music, carnival games, food vendors, silent auction, bingo and more. St. Luke’s Catholic Church. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Cookie Decorating. Blackmon Community Center. 10 a.m.
October 16, Saturday - Michael Salgado at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton, 6 p.m.
October 18-23 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Beltonian, Belton. 6-8 p.m.
October 22, Friday - Unity Fest on the street in front of Ras Kitchen. Featuring Alex Marley and many other acts. 4 p.m. to midnight.
October 23, Saturday - Don Gregory Memorial Lions Club Golf Tournament. Sammons Golf Course. Contact Jeffrey Thigpen Thigpen.email@example.com to register or for sponsorship opportunities. 4-person scramble begins at 8:30 a.m.
October 23, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 29, Friday - Uncasing of the Colors for the 607-member 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the 3rd Squadron, 36th Infantry Division, now headquartered at the Texas Army National Guard on Airport Road in Temple. Santa Fe Plaza, 10 a.m.
October 29, Friday - Season closing event, Domestics vs Imports, Little River Dragway, 7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Barktoberfest, Dog costume contest at 5:30; adoptable dogs on site. Barrow Brewing Co., Salado. 1-7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Bulls & BBQ, Live bull riding followed by concert with Jake Worthington and Keith Braxton. Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton, Noon.
October 30, Saturday - Tablerock’s Fright Trail. One-half mile walking trail presents thrill, chills and haunting skits. Salado. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - BooCru at Crusader Stadium. UMHB in Belton. Wear your Halloween costume to the UMHB v. Belhaven game. Trick or Treat at 10 locations inside the stadium during the first half. Halftime parade of costumes on the football field. Noon.
October 31, Sunday - Halloween! Have fun, be safe.
November 4, Thursday - Spur Classic Sporting Clay Shoot, Weber Shooting Range. 8 a.m.
November 4, Thursday - Brown Bag Bingo, Sammons Community Center Bring a brown bag with a small, non-food Bingo prize inside. 5 p.m.
November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 7, Sunday - Temple Symphony Piano Trio featuring Suzanne Jacobson on violin, Cory Blaise on cello and Kiyoshi Tamagawa on piano. Cultural Activities Center. 3 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - Market in the Vines. Take a walk through the vines and shop with over 50 vendors! Free to the public. 3 Texans Winery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - A Night in Vegas…St. Mary’s Catholic School Casino Night. Live auction, silent auction, games, drawings. Benefits the school’s educational programs. Cultural Activities Center. 6 p.m.
November 18, Thursday - Taste of the Holidays 2021: A Candy Cane Christmas. Mayborn Convention Center. 10:30 a.m.
December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.
December 4, Saturday - Temple Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert featuring soprano Priscilla Santana and tenor Brian Joyce. Temple High School. 7:30 p.m.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.
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