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MARY MEAUX — COVID-19 doesn’t stop these groups from helping others

Sometimes the will to help others is a driving force making the difficult become doable.

Take for instance the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, Cartagena Court 32 of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

The members of the organization know all too well the devastation that comes with a hurricane.

So they extended a helping hand along with love and Christian charity to their sisters of St. Therese Catholic Church in Orange.

Many folks over in the Orange area saw severe damage from Hurricane Laura, and the ladies from Sacred Heart knew this.

On Sept. 15 the Port Arthur group made their journey to Orange bringing along gift cards to assist the sister group with their recovery.

And some groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution, Capt. William Sanders Chapter, have kept busy even in the time of COVID-19.

A representative of the local chapter said it “would take more than a pandemic to cool the spirit of patriotism that dwells in the hearts of these ladies.”

Each member of the group can trace their lineage to a person involved in the U.S.’ efforts towards independence.

Back in April there were two additional ladies in attendance who aspired to be members. As of Sept. 5 their applications to National Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., were verified and approved by the membership board, so here’s a welcome to Patsy Lummus and daughter Heather Low.

In May, the group awarded scholarships to students from Nederland High School, Bob Hope High School, Memorial High School and Port Neches-Groves High School.

The group hopes to restart their monthly meetings in 2021. In the meantime, ladies interested in joining who have patriotic ancestors in their lineage are invited to contact Chapter registrar Betty Brownlee at 409-718-5697 to discuss which documents are needed and how to begin the process.

Griffing Park Community Garden Sign. (Courtesy photo)

And while COVID-19 is making it somewhat difficult to gather, the folks at the Spindletop Center and the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce were able to hold a virtual groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the new Griffing Park Community Garden.

The garden, located in the 4400 block of Dryden Road, plans to focus on community beautification and bringing much-needed fresh produce to lesser-served populations, according to information from the Spindletop Center.

The garden will include a variety of features, such as raised beds for those who have difficulty with mobility, in-ground plots suitable for growing many fruits and vegetables, a shade structure, perennial herbs and flowers, fruit trees, large shade trees, a greenhouse and picnic benches.

Donations for the garden are welcomed and appreciated.

For more information about donating or getting involved with the Griffing Park Community Garden, contact the AmeriCorps VISTA team at VISTA@stctr.org.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.