Most counties in eastern Texas are supported by churches. The charities include various religions. The staff from the centers work with numerous churches and regional non-profits to provide help to the low income and working poor in the area. Tens of thousands of families receive some form of support on an annual basis.
Addressing hunger and providing food is a key initiative. Churches from the region partner with the East Texas Food Bank as well as dozens of pantries and churches in an effort to ensure that no child or person goes to bed hungry.
The pantries rely heavily on donations and volunteers. These individuals offers grants, technical support and education to the pantries, who then work directly with the low income and less fortunate in the community. Donations are needed. Every dollar you contribute for food provides eight nutritious meals to families and individuals, and your donations are also tax deductible as well. They also create soup kitchens in the area. One example is a soup kitchen in Lindale Texas, which helps dozens of families per week.
There are community gardens that allow people to receive fresh, nutritious food and vegetables. This is a key service for the hungry in the eastern Texas area, including the counties of Smith, Montgomery, and Liberty. Local churches will provide non-profits and people with grants for “seed money”. This will in effect amount to limited financial assistance. Specialists will also provide expertise in preparing, managing, planting and harvesting a community garden in their town or city.
Legal Services for immigrants is offered for newcomers. The churches uphold social teachings and will respect the dignity of every human person. After all everyone has basic rights and should be entitled to have their basic needs met. This can include employment, shelter, food, clothing, health care and education.
Many programs are offered as a means to reunite families and promote self-sufficiency for immigrants. This is done through low-fee legal assistance in immigration and refugee matters before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Work with an attorney or paralegal on naturalization, citizenship and residency.
Help for summer cooling bills may be offered from the Beat the Heat Initiative. Many churches, both Catholic and Baptist among others, realize that many low income families cannot afford to run their air conditioner due to high electric bills. Others may not even have an air conditioner or fan system in their homes. This is what a local church tries to address.
Local churches and TXU work together to help these residents, in particular the elderly and families with young children or a medical condition. The agency may have free fans or air conditioners as part of Beat the Heat. They may even have money to pay an electric bill if a customer is faced with a shut off. Assistance is mainly for the elderly, people with life-threatening conditions, families with children, and those whose economic circumstances (such as unexpected job loss) make it difficult to pay the high energy bills during the eastern Texas extreme summer months.
Also as part of Beat the Heat is education and direct financial assistance. Specialists will help people lower their utility bills. This is done from conservation and by also educating people on how to reduce utility bills from conservation and more efficient usage. Get help in making your home more energy efficient.
Disaster Assistance and Preparation Programs are offered in all eastern counties. When disaster strikes, churches may have financial assistance for necessities such as rent, shelter costs, clothing, food, medicine bills, transportation, and even relocation and moving expenses. This is often done in partnership with the American Red Cross or other agencies such as the Salvation Army. So programs are run from the Diocese of Tyler for all counties, including Bowie and Hardin. This ensures disaster programs are coordinated and cooperative.
Grants may be received from the government, from fund raising activities, or partnerships with local non-profits. For example, Churches partner together. Many have worked with St. Joseph in Marshall, Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Jacksonville, and St. William of Vercelli Church in Carthage to help raise money and ensure it gets to the right people. The money pays for basic needs such as shelter or food. They work closely with parishes, regional communities and parishes.
There are many churches in eastern Texas.. The counties they support, in partnership with other churches and non-profits, include Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hopkins, Houston, Jasper, Lamar, Liberty, Marion, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker, and Wood For referrals to a local church or charity, call 877-541-7905.
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