Local Groups Unite to Take Care of Area Elderly with Basic Supplies


With all of the panic buying and the true threat of COVID-19 in our area, a lot of local elderly and at-risk people have been left without the ability to shop for basic necessities, like toilet paper and bottled water. Those that usually help them, for different reasons, are unable to chance exposure to their loved ones at this time. So, some local folks have teamed up to meet the needs.

Radio stations 103.9, the Pig and KOOL 95-1 partnered with Retreat Health Services, and local non-profit “Friends for a Cause Foundation” to put together hundreds of “Care Packages” of basic necessities that include water, toilet paper, non-perishable foods, and other essentials.

The effort is still in need of donations of supplies, especially water, disinfectants, and paper goods, yes… TP.

Item donation drop off locations:

Retreat Health Care Services
4321 McKnight Road
Texarkana, Texas

AMI Radio Texarkana
1323 College Drive
Texarkana, Texas

It started when one of the TWO OLD MEN from the Pig radio station met an elderly woman at the Walmart on Summerhill and College Drive just after dark after that first round of panic buying. She was trying to reach the top shelf when he heard her story. Basically, she was as worried as everyone else and hadn’t been able to get a ride to the store. By the time she was able to get there, she was fine with foodstuffs and has long understood stretching a dollar, but the water and toilet paper were long gone. Her needs were tended to, and the wheels started turning with the thoughts of other elderly, and those others at higher risk, like Chemo patients. The Two Old Men and a Dog and Fabienne Thrash on 103-9, the Pig and Kelli O’neal, Anna Pink and Jordan High with KOOL 95 began talking about it, and posting about it and the effort to create “care packages” began.

A phone call was quickly made to Suki O’neal with local non-profit, Friends for a Cause. Right away volunteers with FFAC mobilized to start taking the donations and putting the bags together to create the care packages.

Speaking to Suki about Friends for a Cause:

Community involvement and geriatric care are just two of the causes FFAC advocates for. We are honored and privileged to be asked by AMI Radio to be a part of this project. Our goal is to unite all resources and be the catalyst that individuals or businesses need in order to create a greater impact. We are ANY friend. ANY cause. It ALL matters.

Beyond Friends for a Cause providing volunteers and logistic support, Suki reached out to Ricky Riebesell with Retreat Health Care Services about Retreat Home Health Care doing delivery, without hesitation, Ricky was quick to volunteer his fleet of home health vehicles and gas, but also pay his healthcare professionals to deliver the packages in a safe way to minimize any possible exposures to the at-risk population.

We talked to Mr. Riebesell:

Serving people is what we do and our elderly residents go to the top of that list, so when we were asked to partner with the Community Unity Project, we jumped all over it. We have been extremely blessed to have an organization full of dedicated people that know how helping hands and hearts can positively impact our community. On Saturday, March 28, 2020, I got to personally see the difference we were making for those who were in desperate need of food, water, or other essential household items. We were rewarded with their gratitude and amazing attitudes.

The need is still great. If you can give, please do. We want to reach as many elderly households as we can. God is working through so many and the residents of Texarkana have definitely stepped up in helping to give back to those in need. I am humbled and honored to see God showing up and out. I cannot thank everyone involved enough for their vision, dedication, and volunteering of resources and time. We are making a difference.

Posted by Suki Coburn O'Neal on Monday, March 30, 2020


About Author

After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

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