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Home runs for homeless event raises money for important cause

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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LUFKIN , Texas (KTRE) - An East Texas organization hosted a softball tournament Saturday. The event might seem like it brought people together just to make some home runs, but instead, people gathered to raise money for an important cause.

Blessing bags for Nacogdoches and Angelina counties is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide for the homeless. Therefore, one hundred percent of the proceeds raised go directly to helping the homeless population. Melanie Garner was a volunteer at the organization, and she said that the homeless need community support.

“There’s a huge need, unfortunately. Once I joined this organization it is amazing when you drive around… what you see. Not all of the homeless choose to live their lives like this, some may,” Garner said.

The founder of Blessing Bags for N.A.C was inspired to create this organization based on her own life events.

“She started this organization because she was homeless with her husband and child. And it took her even six months to come up with the money to file for a nonprofit,” Garner said.

Willie Paul, a vendor at the event said he is focused on giving back.

“It’s like a soft spot for me because I was homeless too, and on drugs. And through the grace of God, I guess I picked myself up. And now I have a restaurant, and a food truck,” Paul said.

Paul said that the smallest gestures make a big difference in the homeless community.

“Those who have that type of heart and desire to just come up and give you a meal, give you some deodorant, toothpaste, give you just a kind word...it means a lot,” Paul said.

Lufkin Mayor Mark Hicks made an appearance to show his support for homeless awareness. Hicks hopes to make days like today a tradition, so he proclaimed July 10th as homeless awareness day for the City of Lufkin. This gesture was approved by the city council.

“I think it’s important that, you know, we are aware of issues in our community and homelessness is an issue here,” Mark Hicks said.

The organization hopes to make the Homeruns for the Homeless event annual. Proceeds raised Saturday will go towards food, blankets, and toiletry items for the homeless.

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