The season of giving

Bags of goodies

Jimmie Guillory had been up since 5 a.m. Saturday raking leaves in his yard from his wheelchair when the Comeaux family arrived with bags of goodies in their hands.

"Good morning, Mr. Jimmie," said Natalie Comeaux. "How are ya?"

"Just fine," he replied with a smile. "Got two piles already."

Natalie, husband Charron and their children, Tatum and Ty, were delivering food items needed for a traditional Thanksgiving meal to elderly residents who are participants in Calcasieu Parish’s Meals on Wheels program.

Guillory was the second of five residents the Comeaux family would visit as part of a joint collaboration between Phillips 66 and the Calcasieu Council on Aging.

In total, 350 meals were delivered Saturday morning by volunteers from Phillips 66, Sowela Technical Community College, Barbe High School and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

"Sure do appreciate this," Guillory said. "Y’all have a Happy Thanksgiving, I know I will."

Charron Comeaux said he has volunteered to deliver the Thanksgiving baskets for the past 11 years.

"Why would you not want to do this," he said. "People like Jimmie are an inspiration and he just warms my heart. We get hugs from everyone we visit."

Charron said making the deliveries has become an annual tradition for he and his family.

"It’s very rewarding and it’s important for us as a family to give back," he said.

Daughter Tatum agreed.

"I do a lot with the community and with school clubs helping out, but there’s never really a one-on-one connection," she said. "It’s one thing to do something with a club but when you do something with your family and can tangibly see the difference it makes, it’s just heart-warming. Everyone needs someone who cares."

Essie Lebleu also received a visit from the family Saturday morning.

"Thank you for this. You made my day," she said. "Now don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back."

She returned with a box of individually wrapped cheese crackers that she promptly handed out to her guests.

"Honey, I’m a giver," she said. "I believe in giving because it always comes back. I also believe it’s better to smile than to frown."

Jackie Green, executive director of the Council on Aging, said Saturday’s deliveries ensure Meals on Wheels residents have something to eat during the holiday.

"It’s not just a brown bag of food and a chicken and some dressing, it’s so much more," she said. "It’s about hope. This is priceless to them. This helps keep them independent and we want to make sure they’re taken care of."

Corena August said she was extremely grateful for her delivery.

"God bless y’all," she told the Comeaux family. "I’m very grateful and I appreciate what you’re doing."””<p><span>Tatum Comeaux hands Jimmie Guillory a bag filled with desserts and dressing mixes Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 as part of the Calcasieu Council on Aging-Phillips 66 Thanksgiving basket delivery program </span>in Lake Charles, La. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)</p>Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
””<p><span>Essie Lebleu visits with Ty, Tatum and Natalie Comeaux after they dropped off a food basket to her</span> in Lake Charles, La., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)</p>Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
””<p><span>Essie Lebleu thanks Charron Comeaux (far right) and his wife, Natalie, for delivering food baskets Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 full of items needed to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The delivery was part of a Phillips 66 and Calcasieu Council on Aging initiative to make sure residents in the Meals on Wheels program were taken care of this holiday. Making the delivery with their parents are Tatum, far left, and Ty.</span> (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)</p>Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer



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