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Lamar Lions help feed homeless

UP Staff Writer

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012

Updated: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:11

LU Lions

UP Josh Aych

Members of the Lamar UNiversity Lions Club passed out food to homeless people at Some Other Place in Beaumont,

On a cool Texas morning, 100s of homeless people gathered outside Some Other Place to receive their daily meal.

“(The meals) are a blessing,” Lorine Holley, one of the recipients, said. “That’s as much as I can say about it. Not everybody has a helping hand. It’s good to wake up with food in your stomach.”

The meal was provided Lamar University’s Lions Club Association.

“It means that we are going out to the community, and we’re letting the homeless know that they are not forgotten, that there are people that care about them — young people, that care about their future and their well being,” Ryan Dollinger, club president, said.

The idea to feed the homeless was spearheaded by Lion Edwin Lopez.

“Since I was younger I always wanted to feed the homeless,” he said. “Since joining Lamar Lions Club, I had the opportunity, so I took the chance to do it.”

Husband and wife John and Brandi Moore have both been homeless for three months.

“It means a lot to us,” John said. “We never know where our next meal might come from. Sometimes we’re blessed that someone will give us some food. We depend on this because it gives us the energy and the strength we need. It keeps us full and fed. We really appreciate this place.”

Brandi said the couple looks forward to the meals at Some Other Place, a non-profit organization.

“We don’t have any other resources, other than here,” she said. “Other times we have to beg for money and that’s illegal. So, to go somewhere and know that you will get fed, it’s a blessing. Sometimes we walk three or four miles one way to get this meal. So this means a lot to us. We appreciate everything that everybody does for us.”

Executive Director Paula O’Neil said Some Other Place has made a commitment to serve those less fortunate.

“This is something that is needed,” she said. “We feel here, at Some Other Place, that the least we can do is nourish people and feed people. We like to do other things for them as well to make a more positive impact on their lives, but at least by being here to feed people, who otherwise might go hungry, we’re giving them the opportunity to maintain their stamina, in hopes that in some point or time, they won’t need a free meal.”

The Lions Club was assisted by McCabe Roberts United Methodist Church.

“I like helping — it makes me feel good to help others,” church volunteer Wendy Monroe said. “I like to work around the young folk. They make me feel energized.”

The Beaumont Westbrook Key Club were also on hand to help pass out food.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Wesley Deland, key club representative, said. “I’ve been involved with Some Other Place for three years. Its fun to help people and it has benefits for college. We volunteer every second and third Saturday at Some Other Place.”

Lopez, the committee chair for that event, said he felt the event went well.

“Today has been very successful,” he said. “Teamwork makes the dream work, and I saw that today with Lamar Lions Club.”

Dollinger said he would like to make it an annual event.

“That would be the ideal way,” he said. “This was our first year doing this. We’re going to reevaluate it, see what we liked and didn’t like, see if we can make adjustments from there.”

To join the Lamar Lions Club, call Dollinger at 880-8722, and visit www.lamaruniversitylions.org. Meetings are held Monday in Landes Auditorium, 101 Galloway Business, at 5:30 p.m..

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