Lawson of CCCC speaks of volunteer need at Rotary

By: Jeannine LeJeune
CROWLEY – A local charitable organization was the focus of this week’s meeting of the Crowley Rotary Club.

Tuesday, the club heard from Marilyn Lawson of the Crowley Christian Care Center, who spoke about the center’s continuing need for volunteers.

“Thank you for inviting me and letting me speak about something that is very important to me,” said Lawson.

Crowley Christian Care has been in existence for 23 years and began as a cooperative act by many local churches from different religious backgrounds. In 1988, 16 churches got together to create the Crowley Christian Care Center.

The center, which is located on North Avenue A, is open during the morning hours of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. During that time, volunteer interviewers meet with people to screen them and access their eligibility for assistance.

Other than its business office, Crowley Christian Care also runs a thrift store, located on the corner of Western Avenue and Seventh Street, that is open the first Saturday of each month as well as Fridays.

The Crowley Christian Care Center is comprised of volunteers, thus as Lawson stated, “We always need willing hands.”

There are no shortage of jobs that need volunteers associated with Crowley Christian Care.

Each Thursday morning, newspapers are bundled to be delivered to the parish recycling plant, the proceeds of which benefit Crowley Christian Care.

Then there are volunteers needed to sort through clothing as well as the other donations they receive, and to cycle out the clothing not purchased from the thrift store. Clothing stays on the floor for about two months according to Lawson.

“The Crowley community has been extremely generous to Crowley Christian Care,” she said.

Other volunteer opportunities include backup office people, which as Lawson points out if one person gets sick or goes on vacation, it can mess with their whole system without backups; or people to pack grocery bags.

Currently, Crowley Christian Care is averaging about 450 bags per month. The bags are filled with foods either purchased through monetary donations, money derived from the thrift store, special food drives held by local schools, donations from people in the community, local businesses (i.e. Wal-Mart), federal programs like Second Harvest and the annual FoodNet Food For Families Drive (held in conjunction with KLFY TV-10 throughout Acadiana).

Lawson also says Crowley Christian Care could benefit greatly from someone, or some people, who have a pickup truck and has a couple of hours to spare during the week.

“A lot of times, we just need someone with a pickup truck that can run to the landfill and drop things off,” she said.

Crowley Christian Care is comprised of a board member from each member church, three part-time employees and one federal employee, who comes from the “Experience Works” program, but most of those involved with the Crowley Christian Care Center are volunteers.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our operations,” said Lawson. “If we didn’t have volunteers, we couldn’t function.”

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