Volunteer Awarded For His Giving Spirit

Vision, passion and courage-those are the characteristics of this year's Longview Community Foundation Philanthropy award. County Court Judge Bill Stoudt presented the award to volunteer, Jerry Bunt. Bunt is the co-director of the 'Caring and Sharing' center in Longview.

Jerry is retired but he treats his volunteer position as a full-time job. He and 41 other volunteers help provide food and clothing for hundreds of East Texans. Each month more than 900 families receive clothing, food, and even toys for the kids from the organization.

Jerry Bunt spends his retirement from Lone Star Steel volunteering most every day of the week for others who are in need.

"Even though it's a full-time job well we all enjoyed very much, it's rewarding, helping people that's what it's all about," says Jerry.

The center was opened in 1989 by the Pine Tree Church of Christ. Delana Bryant is the co-director with Jerry at the center. She says with the slowed economy donations are getting hard to come by.

"We always have plenty of womens clothes. It helps to have childrens' clothes because these kids wouldn't have any clothes to wear at all if it wasn't for here," says Delana.

The volunteers here say they have come to know the people who seek help here each month. They get to know their hopes, their dreams and even their problems.

"We got people that have different types of problems and we can't cure them the only thing we can do is help them and do what we can," says Jerry.

If you would like to make food or clothing donations to the 'caring and sharing' center you can drop them by at 1303 Mobberly avenue.

The center is open every Monday and Tuesday from 11:00a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Amy Tatum reporting.