Port Arthur LNG awards $75K to help nonprofits keep communities safe

Published 12:46 am Friday, June 30, 2023

On Thursday morning, Debbie Perkins with the United Board of Missions represented one of 16 local nonprofits that received a check from Port Arthur LNG. But even though they weren’t present, the money will be felt by dozens of students in the Port Arthur Independent School District.

This year the UMB, in partnership with the Sertoma Club of Port Arthur, has joined with Thomas Jefferson Middle School to provide school supplies and uniforms to children in need.

“We have assisted some students throughout the years that had to sit out a class because they did not have the proper uniform that day,” said Perkins, executive director of the UMB. “We have run to Walmart to purchase them so they could get back to class.”

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As they collect supplies, they selected middle school students with purpose.

“The middle school kids seem to be the forgotten group,” Perkins said. “The little kids everyone wants to help, and the graduates are at a milestone.”

And that, said Sempra Infrastructure Director of External Affairs Kelly Prasser, is just one of the many examples of why Port Arthur LNG began the Safe Communities Initiative grants in 2022.

“The Safe Communities Initiative was really built to handle the other part of safety, which for us is community safety,” she said during the awards reception at the Press Building.

“Because we know that if you’re hungry and you can’t pay your bills and you don’t have good mental health services and you don’t have good access to healthcare and you can’t get free immunizations and you need some assistance — if you don’t have organizations that provide you with those types of services when you’re really in need for whatever reason , you don’t have a safe community.”

A total of $75,000 was presented to the selected organizations.

  • American Red Cross: Grant fund will go towards a fire safety program that reaches more than 3,500 local students and provides more than 4,500 free smoke detectors.
  • Chosen Generation Evangelistic Ministry: Funds will go towards backpack program that provides school supplies, backpacks and uniforms for more than 300 local students.
  • Christus Southeast Texas Foundation: Monies will support the car safety program that provides appropriate car seats for babies born at their hospitals.
  • Community Retirement Home: They will be installing new security systems for all 32 residents.
  • Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas: The grant will go towards presentations in the area to increase awareness of the importance of volunteering information to law enforcement.
  • Dream Center of Southeast Texas: Their program supports those struggling through addiction and also provides life-training skills as individuals continue recovery.
  • Grace Hub: Funds provided a summer sports camp for 24 low-income students.
  • Hometown Hero Outdoors: This grant supports mental health, networking, and activities with local veterans.
  • Inspire Encourage Achieve: IEA hosts a juvenile justice system camp that provides educational and therapeutic support for more than 25 youth in Southeast Texas.
  • Julie Roger’s Gift of Life: Funds will go towards the more than 3,500 annual free breast and prostate screenings for Southeast Texans who are uninsured or underinsured.
  • Legacy Community Health: This grant supports the mental health program that services approximately 95 low-income individuals.
  • Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas: Monies will provide 200 counseling sessions to children, individuals and families in Port Arthur.
  • Southeast Texas Veterans 4 Veterans: They provide meals, medical care, utility assistance, clothing and transportation services for veterans.
  • United Board of Missions: Funds will support their back-to-school program and emergency food pantry.
  • Willie Carter Outreach Center: Their back-to-school program provides 1,500 children with necessary supplies for school.
  • The YMCA of Southeast Texas: They will be providing a two-week program teaching water safety skills that will be eligible to every second grade student in the Port Arthur Independent School District.

In addition to the Safe Communities Initiative, Port Arthur LNG has given more than $200,000 to local nonprofits over the last two years through the Season of Giving grants during the holidays and Environmental Champion grants for Earth Day.