The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
When Joyce Stahl moved from New Mexico to Port Arthur to take care of her mother, she left behind her friends and home of 43 years.
After her mother and sisters passed away, Stahl had to find some way to occupy her time. She found her hobby, her calling, with helping others, both human and animal.
Last year, Stahl contacted the senior centers in Port Arthur, Port Neches, Nederland, and Groves to help her collect jackets and blankets for the homeless.
People were encouraged to donate any warm clothing they could at these centers, which Stahl collected then distributed at the Hospitality Center on Gulfway Drive during lunch time.
Though she gave away more than 50 coats last year, Stahl is having trouble getting momentum for the drive this year.
“I believe a lot of it’s due to the economy,” she said. “People are just not giving like they used to. They can’t afford it.”
Stahl has expanded her efforts to the Proctor Baptist Church and said she will collect clothes in person if people call her with donations (409-982-0221).
“I not only need coats, but I want sweaters and long shirts and hats and gloves- anything to keep them warm,” she said. “People are really unaware of how many people are homeless in our area.”
Stahl said particularly needs men’s clothing, as she didn’t receive any coat for a man.
“I guess men just don’t buy clothes like women,” she said. “They aren’t cleaning out the closets like women.”
The Port Neches center is not participating this year, according to its director. The Groves center’s director said there has been no involvement so far from the seniors.
“I phoned each director of each center to make sure it was alright again this year,” she said. “I haven’t had a single coat.”
Stahl volunteers at a hospice and cares for two terminally-ill patients. She adopted two dogs and several cats from shelters and tries to find homes for abandoned animals.
“It sounds corny today, but I love the lord Jesus and every day when I wake up I ask him, ‘what can I do to serve you?’” she said.