Glen Rose Texans “Share the Love” through donations and a pig roast

Glen Rose, TX

mpu   |   October 31, 2023

In the small Texan town of Glen Rose, Brickyard Leader Katarina Young did something remarkable. It’s a rural area of about 3,000 people, known for dinosaurs and bootlegging, and the community came together in a way that brought tears to a few eyes.

Katarina and her husband Jason, a former Marine, are known around the parts for stepping up when the area was hit hard with the “Snopocalypse” a couple of years back. When people were hiking prices, they were giving away free firewood.

“We take care of each other. That’s what neighbors do,” Jason said.

Katarina and her team collected household goods, clothes, books, toys, and whatever was needed. And to top it all off, she and her husband generously donated a pig, weighing in at about 200 pounds. BBQ Pitmaster Big Dave smoked it for about 19 hours in a big ol’ smoker, and soon enough, everyone wanted a piece.

The event had all the makings of abundance, gratitude, and the smell of smoked pork and authentic fry bread floating in the air.

Some folks were hesitant to approach the tables and wary that this all came together because of well-intentions. But you can’t deny a freshly done plate with all the fixings, and soon they warmed up to it. Nothing was for sale. It was all free. Katarina just wanted folks to eat and get to know each other.

There were two other events in the area, and people started popping in from both. The Somervell County Master Gardeners, Natives from the Comanche Nation coming together for their Intertribal Pow Wow, the local church with deep roots in the Hispanic community, and kids running all over. Several people were sitting at long picnic tables, eating and talking about life and +MPU. Others were listening to the drum circles and Native singers in their traditional attire by their intricate teepees.

Garrett Cathcart, +MPU’s Executive Director, said, “A man told me he missed his small unit tactics training for this. Asked him what they were training for, he said they had to be ready for anything, said war was coming. He looked me in the eye, asked a Comanche elder to pass the barbeque sauce, then sat down next to a young Hispanic family to eat.”

Katarina’s down-to-earth approach digs deep into the heart of her community that she knows best. Reaching people who feel overlooked in ways only close neighbors and friends can.

One moment she couldn’t forget was helping a young family who looked a little tattered — the father having no shoes or jacket and the mother clutching onto her 3-year-old son — and unsure if they were welcomed. After introducing herself and +MPU, they were surprised but happy to hear that they could take what they needed. The mother asked for shoes for her husband, explaining that he had none that fit and the few he had worn lately were not his size or were falling apart and hurting his feet. The man himself didn’t know his actual shoe size. Two +MPU volunteers quickly swooped in to set them up with all that they needed: extra shoes for the father, coats and clothes, toys for their son, and hot plates to enjoy a good meal. The couple thanked them, and the tears were already starting to well up in a few eyes nearby.

As Katarina said, “It was a blessed day indeed.”

A pig roast is not only a celebration of food but also a time-honored tradition that brings people together. +MPU Brickyard leaders are first and foremost champions of bringing people together in ways that break down barriers.

It’s a challenge that few organizations are able to achieve: Dedicate the resources to learning, understanding, and supporting the farthest-reaching corners of rural communities where poverty and obstacles to basic necessities are commonplace.

The work of our Brickyards always starts from the ground up, shoulder to shoulder. That’s because only when people see firsthand that they are understood and supported in their everyday needs can we begin to uncover the root of polarity — and then — the power of connection and working together despite any differences.

And that’s what makes a pig roast more than just a neighborhood gathering in a small town. Here it becomes a testament of true togetherness between those who share love for their town and the journey of life as Texans from all walks of life.