Miss Helen's Soup Kitchen thankful for support
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Don Gautreaux, manager of Miss Helen’s Soup Kitchen, served as the guest speaker for the Crowley Rotary Club during their weekly luncheon at the Town Club on Wednesday.
“I would like to thank Crowley’s Rotarians for all their support both financially and on a volunteer level,” said Gautreaux. “They have made things much easier for me on so many different levels.”
Miss Helen’s Soup Kitchen was opened on July 9, 2002 through donations from many civic groups. Gautreaux wanted to especially thank Father Louie Richard who was instrumental in getting the kitchen up and running.
“Our obligation as Catholics is to take care of those who are less fortunate,” said Gautreaux. “Everything we used to build our place, from the labor to kitchen appliances, was through the generous donations of the Crowley community and that makes me really proud.”
Miss Helen’s Soup Kitchen, located at 117 West 7th St., was originally owned by Helen John which is where its name is derived from. At first they were only open for two days a week but soon realized that their demand required more.
“We went from being open only a couple of days a week to where we are now, serving approximately 24,000 meals a year,” said Gautreaux to an astonished crowd. “Often we serve around 250 meals a day.”
According to Gautreaux, volunteers are what keeps the Soup Kitchen running. Gautreaux said that his approach is to get different volunteers from various civic groups so that he constantly has fresh workers and people don’t burn themselves out.
Gautreaux also strongly emphasized the support the Soup Kitchen receives from St. Michaels Church.
“Every time we have been in a bind they have been there to support us,” he said.
“God has truly been good to us.”