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Debbie Perkins inspired to lead United Board of Missions, serve community where she grew up

Debbie Perkins has spent years of her life giving back to others. Now, coupled with her experience of non-profit organizations, she has been named executive director of the United Board of Missions.

Perkins, who officially took the helm March 1, previously was program director and worked with then-director Mae Terro. Her predecessor opted to spend her time and energy with the organization’s resale shops — the Missions Attic and the Attic Treasurers.

“Debbie’s varied skill sets present an unmatched fit for our current needs at UBM,” Treasurer Nancy Currie said in a news release. “With many years experience in finance, sales, management, marketing, construction and positions with a variety of non-profits over the past 25-plus years; we believe that Debbie will be a great asset for UVM. She is an active member of Providence Church in Nederland and other local service organizations, as well.”

Perkins has undertaken or had a hand in a number of projects at the non-profit organization such as Share A Toy, which was changed last year to a curbside event due to the pandemic. She has been part of a grant that helped with rental and utility assistance for clients and secured a grant with the Texas Department of Agriculture along with Jefferson County for the Meals on Wheels program.

Perkins said the UBM serves meals to people in the Mid and South Jefferson County areas while another organization provides for Beaumont and surrounding counties.

One goal is to inform the public or refresh their memory of the services offered through UBM.

“We are still faith-based and reliant on our churches as board members,” Perkins said.

UBM began the search for an executive director last year when Terro requested to step back and exclusively manage the resale shops, according to information from the organization.

The Mission got its start in 1966 by a group of churches recognizing the special needs of people in the community. It strongly depends on the combined efforts of community support, volunteers, limited staff, board of directors, officers and various committees to carry out its mission.

Perkins, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, is drawn to work with UBM because of its faith-based approach and her love for the community she was raised.

“I have a servant’s heart,” she said. “I enjoy volunteering and being in community organizations. I’m a member of the Sertoma Club in Port Arthur that meets at noon on Thursdays, and I also do service work through that organization and have been active in 501(c)3’s since the 80s. This is a great opportunity to serve in the community I grew up.”

Perkins said people are welcome to stop by the UBM, located at 6650 Ninth Ave., and take a tour.

The Missions Attic is located at 3300 Twin City Highway in Groves and the Attic Treasurers is at 5235 39th St. in Groves.