Holiday help for needy families

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2011



LAPLACE – Various civic organizations across all three River Parishes will be holding Thanksgiving luncheons and other donation drives throughout next week for senior citizens and the less fortunate in the region.

Events begin Tuesday in St. John the Baptist Parish with the annual senior citizen Thanksgiving luncheon at the Cafetorium at East St. John Elementary, 400 Ory Drive, LaPlace, sponsored by the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

The luncheon opens with bingo at 10 a.m. Food will be served at 11:30 a.m. The event will include music and door prizes. For more information, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 985-652-7058.

In St. James Parish, the Department of Human Resources is teaming up with the dental office of Dr. Greg Phillips and Associates for a food drive that will build Thanksgiving baskets for less fortunate residents suffering from economic hardships or other circumstances. Non-perishable food items will also be offered to families still recovering from the recent housing development fire in Convent.

The parish is asking for donations of traditional Thanksgiving dinner items. Monetary donations from Matherne’s Supermarket and Dr. Phillips’ office will contribute to turkeys and hams to be added to the baskets.

The baskets will be distributed Monday from the parking lot of Dr. Phillips’ office, located at 1960Jefferson Highway, Lutcher.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday every household should be able to celebrate,” said St. James Parish President Dale Hymel. “I am thankful our local businesses and residents are opening their hearts to help those in need, especially during the holiday season. It is wonderful when businesses, the community and the government can accomplish this with local resources.”

This is the 15th year the St. James Parish Department of Human Resources has reached out to families in need during the Thanksgiving holidays.

In St. Charles Parish, the United Way, the St. Charles Community Health Center and Blessed to be a Blessing Ministry will conduct the first annual “Giving Back to the Community” Thanksgiving luncheon Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony Outreach, 737 Paul Maillard Road, Luling.

The event will serve 150 people a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete with dessert. St. Charles Community Health Center CEO Mark Keiser said the goal of the luncheon is reaching out to individuals in the community who may not have the means for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Luncheon organizer Venessa Simmons said the event has garnered great community support through donations of food, gift cards and other items for gift bags that will be distributed to those who attend.