Love for community seen through holiday blessings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

When Thanksgiving leftovers are packed away and Christmas music fills the airwaves, I start mentally preparing a shopping list: my husband, parents, siblings, in-laws… It’s humbling and inspiring to realize there are people who think beyond this narrow list and bless whoever is in need, even strangers, without any expectation of getting something in return.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Donna Perrilloux and Ms. J.P. Thomas with D.M.P. International PrayerLine Outreach Ministry. Over the past month and a half, they have given away clothing and other necessities to hundreds of people in need. The parking lot at 130 W. Seventh St. in Reserve has become a beacon of hope for the community as we enter the holiday season.

This week, Donna Perrilloux called to tell me that she has been putting pieces of furniture out in the parking lot across the road from St. Peter Catholic Church. It puts a smile on her face to see the furniture gone the next morning because it means she’s helping fulfill a community need.

“I want to let people know that if it’s there, you can take it. That’s why I put it out there,” she said. “When I see it’s gone, I put more out because I see it’s still meeting the needs of the people.”

On Saturday, December 11, another clothing giveaway will take place at the same location.

Donna Perrilloux thanks Janice Thomas, Belinda Cook, Dorris Harris and Catherine Fields for their support and donations.

Ms. Perrilloux also continued her Thanksgiving tradition of feeding seniors in the community. Since the elderly could not gather in-person this year due to COVID-19 concerns, she prepared Thanksgiving baskets and brought them to seniors’ homes, where she was able to pray with them individually.

I think of selfless people like Donna Perrilloux as hidden gems of our community. These kind acts remind me that the spirit of Christmas is tied to the spirit of giving selflessly, relentlessly. Capturing that spirit means extending our Christmas lists beyond the people we know.


Brooke R. Cantrelle is news editor for L’OBSERVATEUR. She can be reached at