LEC Cares hosts Christmas for the Kids on December 17

Published 9:03 am Saturday, December 3, 2022

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LAPLACE — After two years of drive-thru giveaways, LaPlace Equipment Company’s nonprofit LEC Cares will once again bring families together in-person for the fifth annual Christmas for the Kids.

This year’s event will spark Christmas joy as 50 to 60 underprivileged children receive a $100 gift card, a hot meal and a food basket to go. Recipients were nominated by local entities including the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, United Way, the District Attorney’s Office, Child Welfare and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Christmas for the Kids will begin at 11:30 a.m. December 17 at LaPlace Equipment Company’s office, located at 167 Jaubert Ln. in LaPlace.

The annual charity event started in 2018 after LaPlace Equipment Company owner Trip Oubre went out to pucrchase some parts for work and saw people much less fortunate than him shuffling through damaged goods at a secondhand store. At that point, he knew he needed to do something to ease the financial burden of the Christmas season for families within the community.

“It’s important to us because we realize the need is there. Between COVID and Ida, and now with the inflation potential of recession, there are going to be parents who just need help,” Oubre said.

Through partnerships with local agencies, LEC Cares is able to keep the impact of the event centralized to St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles parishes. In addition to donations and support from the River Parishes business community, Christmas for the Kids also draws participation from Louisiana State Police, the St. John Parish Fire Department and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

While the first two events saw the LaPlace Equipment Company team go shopping for $100 worth of gifts for each child, children now receive $100 gift cards that can be used to more effectively meet their wants and needs during the holiday season.

“We are excited to bring everyone back together in person this year and see all of the kids’ excitement,” Oubre said.

Every detail poured into the Christmas party is intended to make it an unforgettable experience for families, from the Christmas movie that plays on a projector during the event to a special appearance from Santa Claus himself.

Since the event’s inception, Reed Alexander has volunteered to cook food for the families. This year’s menu includes jambalaya, hamburgers, hotdogs and fried turkey, with donations from Mike Curtis of Curtis Environmental.

There is still time for the community to contribute to the Christmas for the Kids event with monetary donations, large or small. A Facebook fundraiser has been set up at facebook.com/donate/501882468660725/10159586231297426/

Also ongoing are a football pool for the December 18 game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons and a raffle to be pulled during the event.

Raffle tickets are $5 per chance or $20 for five chances. The winner will be able to pick between the following prizes: a Yeti Tundra 65 cooler, Weber 22” performer deluxe grill, or an outdoor deluxe 90-quart crawfish boiler. The winner will also receive a $100 alcohol package.

The second place raffle winner will receive a $100 gift card, and the third place winner will receive a $50 gift card.

Donations can be submitted via Venmo @Trip-Oubre.

“It costs a pretty penny to put the event on, so I want to make sure we can keep doing it in the future,” Oubre said.

Volunteers are also welcomed during the December 17 event. For more information, contact Trip Oubre or Nancy LeBlanc at 985-652-5210. The tax ID for LEC Cares LLC is 84-2275977.