United Christian Care Center helps low-income families with food, more

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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VIDOR — The primary mission of United Christian Care Center of Vidor is to assist low-income families by providing food and clothing.

That mission was recently boosted with a donation of 30 boxed fans from Entergy Texas, Inc.

Ten have already been given out, as of Tuesday morning, and 20 are left for donation into the community, according to Gayle Nagai, who is a volunteer grants administrator with the Care Center.

“We’re all volunteers,” she said. “We really appreciate what Entergy does. We’re a food pantry and we serve about 1,300 low-income families in the Orange County area each month.”

Nagai said the fans help out some of their seniors who come through who may not be able to afford their utility bills.

Entergy also recently provided a grant for school supplies to the Care Center, which functions mainly as a drive-thru food pantry.

The organization, located at 293 Wilson St. in Vidor, converted to a drive-thru format when COVID hit and kept the model due to the number clients being served.

“All they have to do is drive through and provide some basic household information, such as name, address, ages of people in the family, number of people in the household and information like that to get assistance with groceries,” Nagai said.

United Christian Care Center is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until noon, and opens the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. until noon.

Entergy Texas also donated 40 fans to the Salvation Army in Orange.

Deborah Drago, from left, Dylon Drummond, Bryan Bartkus and Zach Gallentine stand with fans that were donated last week by Entergy to a Southeast Texas summer camp. It’s part of a yearly effort that benefits Orange County programs, as well as others across the region. (Monique Batson/The Leader)

The donations mark 22 years of giving fans to help low-income customers in the community stay cool and save money.

This year, the company is donating 1,300 boxed fans to 36 cities and agencies across Southeast Texas, bringing the total number of fans donated to 25,800 since the program started in 2000.

“This summer has been extremely hot, and everyone is feeling the impact,” said Stuart Barrett, vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas. “We continue to donate fans because we know a simple tool can go a long way in helping our customers feel relief. Not only does it help them stay cool, but it also helps them save money.

“We couldn’t do this without our amazing local cities and agencies who help us with distribution to low-income customers across Southeast Texas.”

Company officials said Entergy Texas awarded more than 100 non-profit partners and community organizations with $1.4 million in grants in 2021.

The grants provided funding and support for broad-based initiatives ranging from education and workforce development to poverty solutions, the arts and community improvement initiatives across Southeast Texas.

Temperatures are hitting record-breaking numbers this year, with recordings in Southeast Texas rising significantly from 2021.

Extreme heat can drive up electricity use, but it doesn’t have to come at a cost.

Customers concerned about their bill payments or having trouble paying their bill should reach out to the company online or by phone at 1-800 ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749).

Representatives can review an account or help with bill assistance options that may work best for the customer.