By Laure Derr
Where do I even begin to tell the story of the CCLM? I’m not sure anyone even remembers. I am sure the seed of giving was planted many years ago when the good Lord sent a group of Catholic ladies to live in Winnfield to attend the little Catholic Church-Our Lady of Lourdes.
Not many people from Winnfield were Catholic—we were all “foreigners.” We formed a bond rarely found in society today—always helping each other through difficult situations and most of all praying together. Years passed by and as our children grew up and moved away, we grew even closer. We started a prayer chain and if someone needed prayers—we all passed the word and prayed.
Then Facebook was brought into the scene. People found out about our prayer group and the prayers really began pouring in. One week there was a large group of people on our prayer list. We decided to take meals to the 35 people we were praying for. Bo Walker decided to make a big pot of soup. Vicki Rockett and I delivered all the meals. We put a little prayer card in each and told the recipients we were praying for them.
When the prayer group found out about it, they all decided they wanted to be a part of it. The CCL was born. We called ourselves the Crazy Catholic Ladies. We were all crazy about serving Jesus. As the ministry grew, more and more ladies joined, many of different faiths. The group decided a new name was needed, so the CCL was renamed to the “Caring Christian Ladies.” We are proud to say there are 39 people in our group—people of different races and creeds. About a month ago, Rayford Riley expressed an interest in joining—so we became CCLM—Caring Christian Ladies and Man. Then Our Lady of Lourdes received a new pastor, Rev. Louis Sklar. Father Sklar is a hard worker at every Meals on Wheels—so now we are the Caring Christian Ladies and Men.
We now deliver almost 100 meals on the last Friday of the month. Usually there are about 15 ladies cooking, packing, and delivering meals. One of the most important aspects of the delivery is the visiting. Many people live alone and look forward to a friendly face with a hot meal. Through the years we have lost people through death but every month there are new names added. The good thing is that some have regained strength and health and no longer need meals delivered. We make sure they know we are praying for them.
Money has never been a problem. No money is ever accepted from the people we deliver meals to. Donations just seem to pour in from everywhere. The membership dues are $5 a month, but no one keeps records—if you pay you pay. It has been unbelievable how the community supports our projects through donations. Each member finds her place in the group—some pray, some donate money, some bake, some pack and some deliver. There are some that do it all!!!
Although we are famous for our Meals on Wheels, we really do so much more. Of course –praying for others is Number One. We also work to raise funds for autism, FARA, Women’s Resource Center, Presbyterian Church and we prepare snack bags Winn Community Food Pantry. We try so hard to be Jesus’ hands, feet and voice in Winn Parish–and to think it all started with a pot of Bo Walker’s soup.