Boxing Up Goodies

El Campo Lions Club members (l-r) Jeff Socha and Mario Manrriquez roll a cart of non-perishable food into Mikeska’s on the highway to be sorted for local families during the holidays. The group distributed them to 53 local families recently. This is just one of the many projects the local Lions does each year.

Coming together to help families in need with food-filled gift baskets has been the mission of the El Campo Lions Club this time of year for the past 20 plus years. Together, the small group of 36 members collected enough funds throughout the year to be able to provide baskets of food to 53 families. Each basket contains non-perishable items totaling around $150.

The group set up at Mikeska’s on the highway to hand out the baskets and some were delivered.

“We’re here to help the people and community in need,” member and organizer Hector Gutierrez said. “All baskets are funded by donations, raffles and fundraisers that are held by the Lions Club.”

For the most part, recipients seem to be appreciative for the gifts of food.

“We typically provide an address with a card in the boxes to receive thank you cards,” Gutierrez said. “Some of what I was told was ‘thank you so much, you guys are such a blessing to me and my family.’”

One of the fundraisers is the group’s annual grilled hamburger dinner, which they usually set up at Alamo Park to cook for the customers who drive through a pick-up line. The other is the Spring fundraiser that includes a raffle which brings in additional funds.

Donations are also accepted throughout the year, most of which come from the members themselves, but Gutierrez said they welcome any donations to help them with the projects they support.

The Lions sponsor students to attend the Texas Lions Camp that caters to those with special needs. They also assist those in need with costs for eye exams and eyewear.

In addition to these projects, they collect used eyewear to be recycled. There are several drop-off locations throughout El Campo for those who wish to donate their old glasses. They include First Financial Bank, Prosperity Bank, El Campo Eye Center and Texas Insurance.

For those who wish to make a monetary donation, checks payable to the El Campo Lions Club can be mailed to: P.O. Box 11, El Campo, TX 77437.

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