DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
KINGSLAND — The story resonates with the purpose of Mission U-Too: feeding the physical and spiritual needs of the people. Yet, to the mission’s David Taussig, the story of one Kingsland man who came to the program for help stands out.
“We had this period of time — four to six months — that people just showed up saying they had had enough and had to go to rehab,” Taussig said.
A rehabilitation facility can be expensive, and the nonprofit Mission U-Too has limited financial resources.
But officials didn’t want to turn anyone away.
And then, like so many other things organizers describe as “God moments,” the money came in.
The donations allowed Mission U-Too to help the individuals get into a rehab program. But attending a drug program doesn’t guarantee success.
One of the men, Taussig estimated, probably hadn’t enjoyed a sober day in 15 years.
“Still, God calls us to help our neighbors, and that’s what we do,” Taussig said.
Mission U-Too’s calling includes helping in numerous ways. Every Wednesday from 4:30-6 p.m., the Kingsland unit serves up nutritious meals. Taussig said it started out as hamburgers but now is a regular meal. And the facility serves 120-170 people each week.
But it’s more than just a meal. Mission U-Too collects and dispenses household items, food, furniture, appliances or anything else a person might need. The organization used to accept clothing, but the nearby Kingsland Clothing Closet has assumed that role.
And if somebody has something to donate but can’t get it to the Kingsland location, Taussig said to give Mission U-Too a call and he or somebody will come out and pick it up. Often, they’ll take it straight to a person in the Kingsland area who needs it.
While people harbor stereotypes of individuals in need of donations, Taussig said 70-80 percent of Mission U-Too clients are families.
“Though we have a few people or families who we’ve had for three or four years, the others are mainly families or people who come in for a month or two until they can get on their feet during a rough spot in their lives,” Taussig said. “People sometimes fall through the cracks during this period of their lives, and we want to be there to help them up.”
But as the organization’s mission also includes feeding the spiritual needs of the people, sometimes, it means helping with something more substantial such as seeing a person through an addiction.
And that man who probably hadn’t experienced a sober day in 15 years before approaching Mission U-Too? Well, Taussig said since completing the program, he’s returned to the area.
“He’s back in Kingsland, has a job and has really changed his life,” he said. “He finally wanted to change and just needed a little help to make it happen.”
The Kingsland site is located at 3435 RR 1431. Go to missionutoo.org or call (512) 537-5612 for more information.