Calling All Volunteers: It's National Volunteer Week

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - These volunteers are all working for things we sometimes take for granted. "Because some people don't have a meal," said Magdalene Nerren, Hope Center volunteer.

In the past month, the Hope Center has seen an increase of people in need of a hot meal. They are feeding about 200 people per week, and their man power is stretched paper thin. "We are totally overloaded, more than we can provide for," said Linda Pendland, Executive Director of the Hope Center.

But that is not stopping them from feeding empty stomachs. On Tuesday's menu: chicken, potatoes and corn. "We always focus on nutritious foods, so that's the thing, we need food and we need people to help," said Pendland.

Volunteers said meat products are considered a delicacy because it has been months since it has been donated. Tuesday was the first time this year the Hope Center has served meat.

With 30 plates to deliver, it is not a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, there is simply not enough. They are=e scraping by with the resources they have because people depend on them. "I'm not working, I'm disabled and times are really hard. And it's nice to know that I've got a meal each day," said Curtis Brooks, receives meals.

"They really make me feel like they're very concerned about my family and I love them for that," said Betty Phillips, receives meals.

It is those responses that inspire volunteers to come back each day. "Anything to help. Whatever helps the community, anything you can do to help another person," said Magdalene.

Hope Center volunteers said they are always in need of staple items like eggs, milk, flour and sugar. They said they are also in need of people like you to volunteer.