|Tyler County Booster - Local News
Stories Added - November 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Caring is Sharing sees 68% increase in client service
Tyler County Booster - November 2009
You can hear the excitement in Sue DeHaven’s voice. When she starts talking about the commitment of each of the volunteers at the local food pantry Caring is Sharing, CIS President DeHaven overflows with glowing commendations for each of the people who volunteer their time, working hard to feed the area hungry and meet various other critical needs in their lives. “Times have been tough lately, especially in the last 6 months, with a distinct change in the demographics of the people that are seeking help”, she says. “Some in the middle class have found themselves with their backs up against a wall. And, they now have to come to Caring is Sharing for help.” “We have our regulars who are living off a pittance of Social Security”, DeHaven says, “But we treat everyone as an individual and help them according to their need.” According to Volunteer Kathleen Brown, who, as Secretary for CIS, keeps an eye on the numbers, “We’ve seen a steady increase in new clients.” Currently Brown says they have about 15 volunteers a week out of a base of 30 who are working about 97 hours a month. “In order to demonstrate the client increase we’ve seen in April ‘09 we had 156 families that were helped representing a total of 407 family members. In September ‘09 it jumped to 245 families we helped representing a total of 570 family members. The total represents a 63% increase. In April we had 17 new clients. In September we had 30. She expects more in November.
It has certainly made a difference in volume of food distributed. The Southeast Texas Food Bank is committed to making two deliveries to Woodville a month. But because of the recent increases Volunteer Dick Coker has to travel to Beaumont weekly to pick up more food. The major impact on CIS is an increase in food. The 2nd is in utilities assistance. The 3rd is in Medical Non-narcotic assistance. According to DeHaven, “We’ve stuck to our bylaws offering food service three days a week. A person may come in once a month. They must have a Lone Star Card or be on Food Stamps. Once every 180 days we help up to $100 with utilities, electricity or propane for qualified applicants and persons must bring in a disconnect notice BEFORE it is turned off. It’s TOO LATE if it’s already turned off. Regarding utilities assistance we offer electrical, natural gas, propane and water. Everything, but phone.
To qualify you need a Lone Star Card. Every 90 days, with a Lone Star Card, persons may quality for up to $100 in non-narcotic prescription drug assistance. For any assistance persons must fill out an application form. We have files and records on everyone that we have assisted and dates. One of the great things that’s Caring is Sharing...cont. from Pg, 1A CIS Volunteer Don Wattbeen formed is a network of community resources that we can direct a person with unusual circumstances to if we can’t help them. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays are Food Pantry Days and on Wednesdays utilities and medical assistance is provided. “The lines are long on Wednesdays,” DeHaven said. CIS President DeHaven admits that she doesn’t “know how to say no.” “The real backbone of this ministry is Dick and Carol Coker and all the volunteers who help so willingly.” Caring is Sharing is bursting at the seams in the little house it operates at 308 South Beaver Street in Woodville. If the numbers keep swinging upward they’re probably going to need bigger quarters. Mission Statement of Caring is Sharing: An ecumenical ministry supported by local churches, business, and individuals meeting the needs of Tyler County for over 25 years. Our priorities are families with children, elderly, and disabled persons. Call 409-283-5800 for assistance or if you’d like to volunteer.