Rotary Club of CCL says ‘Make a Difference’

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : October 3, 2012

Barry Boatright talks about Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Christian Life Center Pastor Barry Boatright tells local Rotarians about Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, a faith-based transitional home for women.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Members of the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake are gearing up for this year’s Make A Difference Day, Oct. 27.
It’s the 11th or 12th year of the club’s participation and they heard from various groups around the lake, who either need some extra help or can give some extra help to make a difference in the lives of local residents.
Although observed on the fourth Saturday of October since Points of Light partnered with USA Weekend to sponsor Make A Difference Day, this year Rotarians are using the entire last week in October.
Rotarian Andrea Pickens presented these sentiments about the annual observance.
“It is the day we celebrate the power of people to use their time, talent, voice and money to create change,” she said.
“Our collective effort over the years include people from all walks of life – young and old, families in communities, large and small.
“Volunteers see a problem or an opportunity in their community and take action to address it, whether it’s visiting a nursing home or providing a shut-in with a much needed pedicure.”
Through personal involvement lives are touched and changed, including those giving the service, she said.
Each year, Mabank schools conduct a food drive called, “Fill The Bus,” for Make a Difference Day. The high school Beta Club is leading the effort again this month through Oct. 27.
With the economy still sluggish, the need for food is critical, Pickens noted.
The Interact Club at the high school participated in a landscaping project last year.
Labor of Love helps qualified homeowners with much needed repairs and upgrades.
In the past, Rotarians have collected or purchased Klothes for Kids
But the big date to remember this year is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, which is set aside as the annual recycling event mounted at the Mabank Rodeo grounds, which include electronics recycling until noon.
“Unlike other trash-off events of this kind, you don’t have to prove residency. It’s for anyone who lives in the area and willing to tote their trash or recyclables down to the arena,” Pickens said.
There may be a small fee for large TVs or computer monitors, but it is much better than these items filling up landfills or getting dumped on the side of the road.
Pickens distributed application forms in order to match up those with needs with those in the community best able to help that person or organization.
“Make a Difference Day is all about neighbor helping neighbor,” she said.
One of the presenters seeking assistance was Christian Life Center pastor Barry Boatright. “This is somewhat difficult, as Christian Life is usually on the giving side,” Boatright said.
He told the group about a transitional residential program for women coming out of incarceration to assist them in building a new life for themselves.
It’s called Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake. Construction on bathing and laundry facilities at the church’s school property on State Highway 274 in Tool is underway with expectation to open the facility to the first 10 clients sometime in January.
“There’s nothing else like it in the county, and it is sorely needed,” Boatright said.
Often women offenders, usually drug offenders, don’t have anywhere to go except the same environment that helped produce the problem in the first place, he said.
The no-cost program will concentrate on teaching life skills, providing counseling and preparing women to seek education, job training, or college classes.
Anger management, parenting skills, money and time management and recovery are a few of the areas that will be covered during the nine-month program.
“We hope to have an open house to the public, early next year,” he said.
Boatright added that what the facility is seeking from the community besides monetary funding is a number of housekeeping items.
These items have been put on a registry at Walmart, so community members can see the items needed and purchase any of them for Grace House. They can even be purchased online. The list of things should be printed out from the registry kiosk at Walmart in Gun Barrel City or from home by going to walmart.com/gift registry, select the registry tab and wish list.
In the form, type in Grace House for the first name and Housewarming for the second name and October, 2012 for event date to get the wish list.
Tax-deductible monetary gifts can be sent to Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, PO Box 43012, Seven Points, TX 75143.
If you think you can help in other ways, please call (903) 887-5429 or (469) 644-6254.
The 6,000-sq.-ft. facility is situated on 13 acres on the west side of the lake and will include a dormatory, kitchen and classrooms, equipped with computers for training and practice.
“This is not a Christian Life Center project, it requires broad community support,” Boatright said. “We won’t be able to sustain a program of this magnitude alone.”
The faith-based transitional program is one meeting great success in San Antonio, where at-risk women are given the opportunity to overcome destructive life styles of addiction, incarceration and poverty.