Episode 015 – 4/8/20

Welcome to another episode of about Mansfield. I’m Steve Cosio. Coleen Daniell is off this week. Thank you for being here. This is special coverage of COVID-19 and how the Coronavirus is affecting the lives of those who live in Mansfield.

We are going to break our usual format this week because we all know about social distancing and washing our hands. So in this episode, we’re going to focus on a couple of area nonprofits that could use our help. Mansfield is one of the most caring and giving communities in North Texas and we’re going to see if you can rise to the occasion.

But as always, we will conclude our show with a trivia question of the week for a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee and Sandwich shoppe. We are grateful for the contribution to about Mansfield.

I’d like to remind you to follow this podcast so you will be notified when a new episode is released. The easiest way is to log on to our website, AboutMansfield.com, and enter your email address on the “follow podcast by email” on the homepage. About Mansfield can also be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Podcasts and many more platforms.

When we come back we will talk with Carmin MacMillan, Executive Director of the Mansfield Mission Center, Gregory Dewbrew, founder of the Harvest in Mansfield Center and then we will conclude this segment with a chat with a Mansfield a resident who is helping bring a positive attitude back to the community by way of her Facebook group. We are Mansfield’s only source for news talk and information. This is about Mansfield.

Hi, this is John with Pool Aid, your local pool care specialist. With the exceptional amount of rain that we’ve experienced so far this year, spring is a vital time to clean pool filters, skim leaves and debris and keep skimmers clean to ensure proper circulation as well as keep your pool sweep in good working condition. If you have any questions or concerns or need a certified professional to help keep your pool safe and clean, visit us on the internet PoolAid.net. That’s PoolAid.net. We’re here for you!

ABOUT MANSFIELD: Welcome back to About Mansfield. The Mansfield Mission Center is one of many nonprofit organizations in Mansfield that helps residents in need. This is a particularly trying time for many who are currently furloughed or out of work. On the phone with us is the Mansfield Mission Center executive director Carmin MacMillan. Carmin, how has the mission center been holding up through the coronavirus crisis?

CARMIN MACMILLAN: Our team has been really responsive. We’ve certainly had an increase in the number of families in our community that are looking for assistance. A number of families, parents who have lost their jobs recently, who are looking for additional financial assistance, just help navigating all of the that they’re entitled to.

AM: Can you give me an example or two of a local case that has come into the center and how you’ve been able to help them?

CM: There’s a number of individuals that have come who recently lost jobs — hospitality industry has been a big one, salon workers, estheticians and who do nails and hair and those kinds of things that haven’t had income now for a few weeks. They’re really starting to feel the affects and their families. We’re attempting to help them navigate through systems that are a bit complex. Certainly for folks that don’t have a lot of experience, either with a computer. And I’ve never been in a situation where they’ve had to depend on unemployment, insurance and things like that. It can be overwhelming. Families are stressed, parents are stressed. They’re trying to navigate these new circumstances often comes with kids at home and and taking care of them in the midst of all of it. And so our team as much as they’re providing resources, they’re also listening a lot. Sometimes what what individuals need is just a listening ear and and a place to be able to get some some spiritual care and emotional care and so our staff is, is working parts able to do that for those who are calling in.

AM: Is there anything Mansfield residents can do to help out the Mansfield Mission Center?

CM: We would love additional help in a couple of different ways. Like a lot of food banks and pantries in our region right now, I would say that the demand for food for those that have lost their income, we’re seeing that increase exponentially. And so food drives, whether that’s in communities, different groups that have been able to coordinate that even remotely, we have a drop off site at the front of where our market is located at 777 North Walnut Creek Drive, and it’s a contact-less delivery. So anyone that would like to make a food donation can certainly do that. And that food goes directly into the to the market where our neighbors can come and pick up groceries on a curbside. So folks don’t come into the building, but they’re able to park along the curb and then our staff take the groceries to their vehicles. Things that we always need including like peanut butter, a cereal, and canned meats and things like that, that we we tend to need more of, as well as hygiene items and diapers. So those are some of the things that would be really helpful for us right now.

AM: 777 North Walnut Creek Drive and that’s also where people can go to pick up food and other items?

CM: That’s correct. Yes. So donations can be made there. And then our market for curbside grocery pickup for those that need assistance right now is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 1:00 and 4:00 and on Saturdays from 9am until noon.

AM: Can you tell me a story of this amazing community here in Mansfield and how it’s come together to help those in need.

CM: It’s amazing to see the way that our community is coming together to support families. I had a phone call this morning from David Cook, who had received a phone call from an area pastor here in Mansfield, who had a relationship with Amazon and Amazon has 14 pallets of fresh produce that they wanted to distribute to Mansfield, specifically because of the relationship with this pastor. And so they called to see if we could do that. We have a box truck and to be able to also help our friends at the HIM Center, whose distribution is happening right now and they’re unable to send their box truck, we’re gonna go and pick those pallets of produce up, bring it to the HIM Center, where they’ll be able to use some of that produce as well, along with some other church food pantries here in the Mansfield area.

AM: We will talk with Gregory Dewbrew from Harvest in Mansfield, or the HIM Center, in just a couple of minutes. In the meantime, the North Texas Day of Giving A day for Metroplex residents to offer their time, talent or treasure to local nonprofits. And this year, instead of happening in September, it’s been moved to next month, in May. Do you have any plans?

CM: This is a really important time in the lives of a lot of nonprofits in North Texas who are losing revenue such as ours, you know, our thrift store is 50% of our organization’s income. So with the thrift store being closed, it’s super helpful for us right now that the Community Foundation of Texas has moved this date up, which is traditionally in September, but this year, that date is now Giving Tuesday, which is Tuesday May 5. We are starting an online campaign so that folks who want to support Mansfield families will be able to donate directly through this site, but we’re gonna plant some interactive and fun things throughout the day. We have a few surprises in store, some fun things that people will be able to participate in live on our Facebook and so stay tuned for some some fun things that we’ve got coming your way.

So Mansfield Mission Center, you know, we’re doing a lot of the same kind of work that that we do all year. So supporting families who need financial assistance, who need help with job searching, who need help with food. These are the things that we do all the time. And I think what’s so unique about what’s happening right now in our community is one is just a surge in the sheer numbers of people who need assistance right now. But the other thing is, you know, this pandemic has affected every industry: middle to higher income earners, and has never been in this kind of situation before. And so, I think for our organization and a lot of organizations, one of the things that we can do, just as a community and as partners working together, is to try and make sure that people don’t feel a sense of stigma or shame about asking for help, because there are just so many people that are in the situation right now. So it’s affecting all walks of life. And I think that’s something that’s just really unique that we’ve never experienced in our community hasn’t before.

AM: You’re not just helping the poor right now you’re getting requests from all walks of life.

CM: Yes. I heard somebody make a remark. We had several BMWs that actually pulled up to the food pantry about a week or so ago. And this is when we’re really just starting to see the increase. And one of a comment that I overheard from someone was just kind of remarking on how interesting it is that we we’ve seen a lot of luxury vehicles that have been pulling up and we’re not asking as many questions right now, we’ve said, the kind of paperwork process and things that people would typically need to do just because of the volume. We’re we’re inundated right now and so, There was a comment that was made, you know, I wondered how much these these folks really needed the help. And when you look at what’s happened across the country, the number of small businesses, restaurants, again, the salons and things like that, that just closed overnight, and families weren’t prepared, you know, not very many people were prepared to be able to make, be able to meet their household budget or meet their expenses on such short notice. So I think it’s been a wake up call for everyone as well, in terms of, how do we plan for unexpected emergencies and financial situations like this, but certainly the number of people that are coming in and luxury vehicles that had higher income, higher income earners in our community, that yet that that lost their jobs, and so these families needed just as much as anyone else right now. Certainly.

AM: The Mansfield Mission Center can be found online at MansfieldMission.org. Carmin MacMillan, executive director of Mansfield Mission Center has been our guest on About Mansfield. Let’s switch phone lines right now and head on out to West Broad Street where Gregory Dewbrew is the founder and executive director of Harvest in Mansfield, or as Carmin referred to it as the HIM Center. Gregory, how’s the HIM Center doing?

GD: Right now we’re doing pretty good. Dry goods are tough to come by. But as far as personal foods, milk and eggs, we have that, bread that’s been our problem is you know, like, side salad, you know, side items to go with. We had some canned goods, but you know, right now, I think we’re on 105 people so far. And the parking lot’s still full.

AM: And you’re feeding anyone who needs it, is that right?

GD: Yeah, whoever comes and you never know. You know, if somebody comes out for food we’re gonna help them. I know we’ve had, there are at least 50 new families that’s come telling us they’ve already lost their jobs.

AM: For those who want to help where can people find the him center?

GD: HIMCenter.org. H-I-M Center.org, Facebook, we have a website or Facebook. We’re also physically located at 150 South Sixth Avenue, Mansfield, Texas right on the corner of Broad and Sixth.

AM: What’s the best way for residents to give to the HIM Center?

GD: The easiest one would be financial because we can buy food and different things in bulk cheaper than people gonna get. But if people want to buy food, you know, non perishable side items, things that we can’t find right now like ramen noodles that are nowhere, Rice a Roni, Hamburger Helpers, Tuna Helpers, things like that. Any kind of canned meat from Spam to chicken.

AM: Any final words?

GD: We just appreciate all those that are helping us and people you know, prayers. That’s the number one thing we need. You know, keep all my workers. We right now we’re not taking extra volunteers right now we’re just doing the ones that you know we know who they are. And where they’ve been. When everything comes to the new normal — everybody keeps talking about when we get things back to normal, I don’t think we’re ever gonna go back to normal — but the new normal, we will probably want volunteers again

AM: Harvest in Mansfield, or the HIM Center, can be reached at 817-453-FOOD or 817-453-3663 or on their website at HIMCenter.org. Let’s switch phone lines once again, we welcome a Mansfield resident who is helping the community change its bleak Coronavirus outlook to a more positive view by creating a Facebook group for people to share their positive stories. Cindy Cantera, why did you create the Celebrate Mansfield! Facebook group?

CC: I am also a member of some of the mom groups for Mansfield on Facebook. And some of the things that I had been noticing one that moms were saying, Oh, you know, it’s my husband’s birthday or anniversary or it’s my child’s birthday. We can’t go out and celebrate. And then after we did the parking lot pep rally, which is what we’re calling it, we’re not able to do that right now anymore, because we want to stay clear of congesting the parking lot for emergencies. So, I had a couple of people reach out after the pep rally that wanted to help. And we so we were brainstorming, and we decided that, unfortunately, all we can do, we can celebrate, we just can’t do it the way we traditionally would. So we wanted to have a place for someone or for everyone in the community to be able to celebrate whatever it is, whether it’s an anniversary or a birthday, or, if you have a family member that works at the hospital and you want to give them a shout out or if you want to be thankful as a nurse, who, because I had so many nurses, and I even had the director of the ER email me saying that they were so thankful but I didn’t want to. I wanted them to be able to tell everyone I didn’t, you know, because they, it made a difference. It made a big difference. And I wasn’t keeping it to myself, I could share it, but I wanted it to come directly from them. So I wanted to give the community of Mansfield a place to be able to voice any kind of celebration or appreciation.

AM: You were one of the main organizers of the parking lot pep rally at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center last week, which was a tremendous success. Tell me about it.

CC: About two weeks ago, I passed out. Just from you know, I get stress and lack of sleep, just adjusting to the new norm. You know, we have the kids at home now and we have to make sure that they’re following their schoolwork. And, you know, we’re making more meals at home now. So it’s a lot more than I was used to doing. So it did take a little toll on me and I ended up in the ER. It was different than most visits that I’ve had, when we’ve had to go to the ER. Everybody was covered from head to toe. It was a little bit intimidating. I’m not gonna lie. However, the staff was always very caring, smiling, very comforting. And I came out of the hospital thing, man, so much is going on. It’s not just affected in our homes. It’s also in our workplaces, in the hospital.

I saw a video maybe a day after of a community in Georgia that had done something similar at their local hospital. And so I decided to do something like that. And I did a very quickly. I made some phone calls on Saturday morning. I called the police department, I called the hospital, I spoke to some of the management in the hospital, and I spoke to the hospital police department as well. And we kind of coordinated everything quickly and we made some posts around Facebook. We tried to get the word out as quickly as possible to as many groups as we could. And next thing you know our parking lot is full of cars and at 8:30. We just started flashing our lights and honking the horns and we had nurses lined up on the windows. We had nurses and hospital staff running out the ER to see what was going on. Lots of tears, lots of tears, but they were appreciative tears

AM: In a similar vein as tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree or a blue ribbon to honor the police force. I’m hearing about a campaign to tie white ribbon around trees to honor healthcare workers. Do you know anything about that?

CC: Yes, sir. We got a word from some healthcare workers. And in fact I got tagged: the Omni in Dallas at night is now showing a white ribbon lit up. So we’re trying to spread that out as much as we can, you know, in our community as well, we want to be a part of that.

We are a public group. So if you what that means is if you do a search on Facebook, for the name, Celebrate Mansfield, with an exclamation point at the end, you’ll find us. You do have to request membership. We do ask that you live within the surrounding community of Mansfield, which means you can live in Rendon and Venus and Grand Prairie and South Arlington. You know, as long as your community the area you live in feeds into Mansfield ISD, you’re welcome to join. We made it public also, so that communities around us can take a look and do and do what we do in their own community. So it’s not like we’re excluding anyone. But we do want to make sure that our community and you know, has an opportunity to help within our Mansfield community. I know that’s such a redundant word, but that’s exactly what we are. We are community. So yeah, they can do a search on Facebook that for the name Celebrate Mansfield!, and you can request membership. Just answer three simple questions and we’ll just make sure that you are in the area and we’ll accept your membership and then you can follow us and give any help that you can on there as well.

AM: So this site would not only be good for individuals, but for groups as well is that correct?

CC: Groups are welcome to get a hold of us as well. This group in particular is going to be taking care of a senior facility actually behind the hospital this weekend and making sure that they’re doing okay so, you don’t have to be an individual. If you are a group leader that wants to reach out and do something you’re welcome to reach out and or to reach out to us and we’ll, we’ll kind of give you direction on who needs what. And if you are an organization that needs help, please let us know as well. And we will try to get you guys help as soon as we can.

AM: And all of that can be coordinated through Celebrate Mansfield!

CC: Correct?

AM: That’s Cindy Cantera, creator of the Celebrate Mansfield! Facebook group. If you would like to help make a positive change in the community. Log on to Facebook and search for Celebrate Mansfield!.


If you listen to About Mansfield with some regularity, you may recall a touching interview I did back in early February with a Mansfield resident Steve Burn, who’s therapy dog Max had passed away. Max was his sidekick, his partner in crime, his best friend for over nine years. A Facebook post by Steve’s wife crossed my desk on Tuesday afternoon stating, “It is with a heavy heart that yesterday Stephen Burn suddenly passed away. We asked for your thoughts and prayers to be with us during this time. Stephen is survived by his wife Kelly Burn, sons John and Jay Robinson, his brothers Peter and Michael Burn and his beloved cat Bear. When we return, an encore presentation of the interview with Steve Burn. This is about Mansfield.



Steve Burn was 58.

At this time the Burn family is asking in lieu of flowers or gifts that you contribute or donate if you can do two of Steve’s favorite organizations. The Mansfield Animal Care and Control located here in Mansfield at 407 Industrial Street, or Paws for Reflection Ranch. You can find them on the Internet at PawsForReflectionRanch.org.


We welcome all feedback about the program whether it’s about a specific news story or feature that you heard, feel free to chime in by email at comments@aboutmansfield.com or by voicemail at 817-435-2938. Again, that’s 817-435-2938. We will read or playback some of the comments in a future show.

Congratulations to Ann Smith, who was the first person to email the correct answer about last week’s trivia question. The question was “What year was the Mansfield Chronicle founded?” Ann knew that the answer was 1883 and she receives a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee and Sandwich Shoppe. After the break, this week’s question of the week, I’m Steve Cosio. This is about Mansfield.

Hi, this is John with Pool Aid, your local pool care specialist. Times may be tough right now but it is almost swim season. We here at Pool Aid would like you to know that Coronavirus cannot be transmitted in pool water so is safe to use your pool or spa; just not for a pool party! For now, let’s keep the swimming to our family that live in your house. If you have any questions or concerns or need a certified professional to help keep your pool safe and clean, visit us on the internet PoolAid.net. That’s PoolAid.net. We’re here for you!

Welcome back to about Mansfield I’m Steve Cosio and the first person to email the correct answer to trivia@AboutMansfield.com will receive a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee and Sandwich Shoppe, located on the corner of East Broad and Waxahachie Street in downtown historic Mansfield. Experience the joy of a cup of coffee on their wraparound porch and a meal in the beautifully restored interior of a historic home. You can find them on the Internet at MaryLous.net.

It is time for the trivia question of the week. As you may know, part of the city of Mansfield dips into Johnson and Ellis counties. Ellis County was founded in 1849. This week’s trivia question is:


Good luck and thanks to Melissa and Ca’Lee and MaryLou’s for the gift card.

Coming up next week on about Mansfield continuing coverage of the corona virus and how it affects the lives of Mansfield residents and we’ll talk in studio with City Council candidate Philip DeGroat. The show will be released on Wednesday, April 15. Until then, don’t forget to follow this podcast if you haven’t already, so you never miss an episode. It’s free. And it’s easy. Just enter your email address on our website AboutMansfield.com. We will never send you any spam, we promise. Next week, our co-host Coleen Daniell will be back, I’m Steve Cosio and this is about Mansfield.