After this past year’s cancelation because of COVID-19 concerns, Longview Community Ministries held its 12th annual Touch a Truck — Feed a Family fundraiser Saturday at the Longview Mall.

Griffin Day, service center director at Longview Community Ministries, said the family oriented event is usually held on the first Saturday in October and gives children of all ages the opportunity to interact, explore and get closeup looks at large commercial, military, law enforcement, fire and medical service vehicles.

“Youngsters can come and see all the cool trucks they may see on a daily basis but don’t get a chance to interact with,” Day said. "They get to sit in the cab and play with the buttons, honk the horns.”

At more than 12 feet tall, many children had trouble crawling into the cab of a Oshkosh M1070 military tank transporter on display in the mall parking lot, but those who were able to make the climb were treated to a towering view from the driver's seat and had a blast honking the horn at passersby.

Layla Smith, 8, of Gladewater saddled up behind the handlebars of a police motorcycle unit and even played with its radio but, in the end, decided the two firetrucks on display from the Longview Fire Department were her favorites.

Day said the event helps get the word out about the ministry’s services and also raises cash and food donations.

Longview Community Ministries' Food Box feeds more than 3,100 people more than 21,000 meals monthly, according to the organization.

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