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Community Care-Prayer Outreach looking to make everyone’s Thanksgiving special

NEDERLAND — Thanksgiving is more than a month away but now is the time to think of those less fortunate.

Community Care-Prayer Outreach, a Christian based organization that works to help those in need, is looking for specific items for its Thanksgiving food baskets.

Items include:

  • Turkey
  • Cornbread dressing packets
  • Mac-n-cheese
  • Rice
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cookie mixes
  • Cake mixes
  • Cake icing
  • Can pumpkin
  • Can fruits
  • Jello mixes
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Cream mushroom soup
  • Cream chicken soup
  • Packets of gravy mix
  • Chicken broth

Libby Arnold, executive director of CCPO, takes the organization’s motto to heart — “meeting the needs of people with the hand of Jesus.” She found it difficult to describe the feeling of helping those in need at Thanksgiving.

“It’s a feeling… it makes you feel overwhelmed. You’re helping people in need and will make a good memory for them,” Arnold said. “For the children to be able to say ‘we had a good Thanksgiving.’ That’s one of the things some people take for granted. People get together, you have your turkey, and you have your food. Everybody has a tradition but not everybody can afford to have a tradition.”

She thought back to a time when a woman whose son had been incarcerated came in for a Thanksgiving basket. She was so grateful because her son was coming home and she could give him a meal.

“It’s priceless to know you are part of that,” she said.

Libby Arnold, executive director of Community Care-Prayer Outreach, talks about the need for donations for Thanksgiving food baskets. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Arnold remembers a time when she was a child and teachers would ask students to write about their Thanksgiving when they returned to school after the holiday. She speculates some children who were less fortunate lied on their assignment out of embarrassment.

Donations are coming in but the need is plenty. Right after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 they helped more than 6,000 people due to the devastation. The number last year was between 500 to 700 people — she estimates it will be similar this year.

Ouida LeBeouf, a volunteer for almost five years, the effort is a calling from the Lord.

“He said serve others and that’s what I do,” LeBeouf said when asked why she volunteers.

She found it hard it hard to put into words the deep feeling she gets from helping others.

“Just a joy to serve others,” she said. “You really can’t put it into words. There are so many that are grateful and it does your heart good to help others.”

Norman Hoyt stopped by the warehouse and spoke with Arnold for a few minutes on Wednesday.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” Hoyt said of the organization. “It’s a good place for people in need.”

CCPO also helps with other needs, including food distribution, clothing distribution, utility assistance, rent assistance, medication assistance, prayer support, Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas toy program, according to their website.

Another way to help

McAlister’s Deli will host a ChariTea event from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday where 20 percent of sales will go to Community Care-Prayer Outreach. Make sure to mention Community Care-Prayer Outreach when ordering.

Community Care-Prayer Outreach is pleased to receive donations from the public, churches and businesses.

How to reach them

Community Care-Prayer Outreach can be reached by calling 409-724-0163. If you get a recording, please leave your name, phone number and what you need. They are often busy but will return phone calls to set up an appointment for assistance.

They are located at 808 Nederland Ave., Suite B., in Nederland. They are open from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Though located in Mid County, they also serve South Jefferson County.