Hearts of Compassion in Action: Large-scale clothing giveaways meet community need
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021
RESERVE — The parking lot next to St. Peter Catholic Church was filled with racks upon racks of free clothing during two large-scale giveaways held recently by Hearts of Compassion in Action, a collective ministry formed from groups with the same soul for service.
Organizer Donna Perrilloux of D.M.P. International PrayerLine Outreach Ministry finds inspiration in the words of Matthew 25:35-40: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me…”
It was a blessing to see a need fulfilled. As Perrilloux helped families carry bags of clothes to their cars, many shared with her that they had no home, no clothes, nothing for their children. Hurricane Ida had stolen all of it away, intensifying a need that was present in the community long before the storm.
“The idea came not only from Ida. I have been doing it for the last seven years. Then we all came together with Ida. As you go into the community and see so much damage, Ida put something on us. People started hearing what we wanted to do, and the clothes started coming in,” Perrilloux said. “The women of God came in with other ministries that had the same heart, that wanted to do the same thing. We all started working together.”
Every group comprising Hearts of Compassion in Action had a goal to build up the community as a better place to live and prosper.
Participating groups, in addition to D.M.P. International Prayer Line Outreach Ministry of Reserve, included the following: Christians in Action (C.I.A.) Outreach Ministry/ Christ Temple of New Orleans, Caring Hearts Mission Progressive Church of Norco, Evangelism 1st Church Training Ministry of New Orleans, Revelation Knowledge Outreach Ministry of LaPlace, Hair Stylists on a Mission of the New Orleans Metro area and From My Heart to Yours Ministry of LaPlace.
Other ministries from far beyond the New Orleans answered the call with clothing donations. Clothing was received from as far away as Indiana, and Perrilloux said a group from Maryland not only brought clothes, but sent volunteers to assist during the event. Among the donations was a beautiful collection of men’s suits.
The KC Hall blessed Hearts of Compassion in Action with tables to use for the giveaway, and the Becnel family loaned their building to store the outpouring of clothing donations.
The giveaways also included personal items, children’s books, baby supplies, linens, blankets, towels, jewelry, bleach and much more. First Assembly of God Ministry on Highway 51 graciously donated boxes of nonperishable goods. FEMA representatives were on-site to assist residents during both the October and November events.
Clinton Perrilloux cooked some delicious New Orleans red beans to feed the masses, while Jeanette Toney’s music ministry uplifted spirits in the praise and worship tent.
More than 200 individuals showed up at each of the giveaways that have been held thus far. Organizer Janice “J.P.” Thomas said the clothing giveaway will continue throughout the holiday season to meet the needs of families in the St. John Parish area.
“In our area, they were giving food away. They were giving out water and cleaning products, but not many people were giving clothes away in magnitude. People have been very receptive to the clothing,” Thomas said. “It was rewarding just to see the joy on their faces when they learned they didn’t have to pay for it. It was given out of love and compassion for them.”
Those in need of clothing are invited to contact Perrilloux at 985-210-4176. D.M.P. International PrayerLine Outreach Ministry is located at 130 W. Seventh St. in Reserve.
While continuing the clothing giveaway, the ladies also plan to join forces with the U.S. Marines for a Toys for Tots distribution in early December. More information will be shared as it becomes available.