Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Automatic for the People

One half of The Daily Meaux is mentioned by name today in Tina Macias' story about the Outreach Center in the Daily Advertiser. Each year The Outreach Center hosts a Thanksgiving meal for approximately 400 homeless and less fortunate people in Acadiana. This one of the projects that I was specifically hired on to do and I can say working for a non-profit has been an amazing and eye-opening experience. The generosity and kindness I have witnessed is a wonderful reminder of the good that is Acadiana.

And the Outreach Center an operation. Helping homeless people is only a fraction of the organization's mission. In fact, one of the biggest programs is the 9 - 11 month drug and alcohol recovery program, which offers counseling, case management, art and agricultural therapy, job placement assistance, life training skills and more. It was revealed at Palates and Pate that this program will be moving to Abbeville in early 2010 to a full 90 bed treatment facility, which was formerly Magnolia Gardens Retirement Home so that's very exciting. The Outreach Center also operates the LightHouse Women's and Children's Shelter, a safe house for homeless women and their kids, the Recovery Action Center (RAC) and Well-Mart. The RAC is a day shelter that has taken the place of the old Well Shelter and it offers showers, washers, dryers and case management to assist in job placement. Now this is what blew my mind....I learned yesterday that they do over 100 loads of laundry PER WEEK in the RAC. So it's easy to understand that the Center needs laundry detergent.

Prior to working with the OC, I would have thought that cleaning out my closet and donating clothes was what I could do.....never did it occur to me that an organization like the OC would need things like new packages of underwear or laundry detergent. But turns out, those are some of the items that they use most. So just to recap - if you are in the giving mood this season, please think of the Outreach Center and consider donating:

1. New, unwrapped toys - Just like Thanksgiving, we host a Christmas meal where Santa comes and brings toys. The OC does not receive any toys from Toys for Tots or any other agency .....they rely strictly on donations to cover this project.

2. New, packages of underwear - mens especially, but women's and childrens are needed too.

3. Cleaning supplies - laundry detergent, bleach, pine sol...etc. Because so many people are in the RAC using the facilities they keep that place CLEAN and that takes a lot of Pine Sol and Soap.

4. Coats - with the cold weather coming coats are needed

You can call me at the Center at 237-7618 if you have any questions.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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