The Voice of Southwest Louisiana September 2018 Issue


The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine September 2018

September 2018

Vol 6 No 2

We are the CPPJ Human Services Team

Grandparents Day Tributes | National Sickle Cell Awareness Month | Healthy Aging with Dr. Carl W. Ross, Sr., M.D.

Remote Area Medical...a free mobile medical clinic | Q&A: SCIP's Free Little Pantry




Charla Blake, Assoc AIA

Executive Director

337-439-7191 OFFICE

337-990-5316 FAX

469-767-5035 CELL



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2 September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2


By Brenda Hill

Grandparents Day

is September 9th…

Grandparents are ‘storytellers’ that connect their

grandchildren to their history. Grandchildren are ‘presence’

demonstrating to grandparents how to live with their crown

in real time! Mathew 18:3, Proverbs 17:6

Grandparents Day has been celebrated in the United

States since 1978 and recognized in other countries,

however, Adam and Eve were the first grandparents

in the beginning. Genesis 1:26-28, 2:21-22, 3:1-2, 17-26.

Bro. Hill and I currently have 27 grandchildren and 13 greatgrandchildren.

We have pictures of married couples throughout

our home; my parents, Bro. Hill’s grandparents (though they are

deceased), grandchildren’s parents and Bro. Hill and I so our little

ones can see their history and ask us questions.

Recently, our young grandson quizzed me about the

whereabouts of our parents and grandparents. I said to him,

“God has called them back to Him; where we all come from.”

He wanted to know, “Why?” I said to him, “God sends each

of us here to do good works. After our parents/grandparents

were here for a long while to teach us, and others, how to think,

speak and act, they went home to God to rest from their works.”

He then wanted to know what kinds of works they taught

us? I said, “Same things we teach you…prayer is God hearing

your thoughts, Bible time is you hearing God’s thoughts,

how you speak to your sister/brother is how you will speak to

your wife/husband, tell us truth because we are your helpers,

cleaning up behind yourself is honor to your parents, etc.…

"Sharing our history and our heritage with our grand & great grandchildren is a privilege and

a true blessing from God." --Gene & Brenda Hill

Before he could ask another question, there was a knock

at the door. We opened the door and it was our youngest

son coming over for a visit. When our young grandson saw his

uncle, he said with glee and excitement, “Hey Uncle Josh! We

are all here! God hasn’t called us home to rest yet!”

Of course, our son was extremely puzzled, looks at me and

says, “HUH!”

LOL!! I was so tickled and entertained at the same time.

The Voice Gives a Loving Shout Out

to All Grandparents!!

"These are a few of the grandchildren and great neices and nephews present at my 60th

birthday party." --Brenda Hill

Visit these sites for more about grandparents, grandchildren

and family dynamics

Celebrate Great God-mothers, like Tracy Clark, for

Grand Parents Day, too!

"Meet mini-me."

Teenagers make remarkable grandchildren. They

help grandparents remain young and "Kool."

Our Mocha, Cinnamon & Coffee


Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 3

Sept 2018

The Voice's Choice

The Voice's Choice will spotlight groups, individuals or topics

that spread love, joy and peace throughout SWLA.

Sulphur High

Students Launch

Little Free Pantry


Sulphur High

School students

launched a new

free food pantry project aimed at providing community

residents needing goods at four Sulphur locations.

Through a $20,000 grant provided by Tellurian Inc.’s

Youth Community Impact Program, the students were

challenged to develop a sustainable, impactful community

service project while building their leadership and team

collaboration skills. After engaging with community

leaders earlier this year to learn more about the issues

facing the region, the Sulphur Community Impact Program

(SCIP) students chose to address food insecurity.

A new group of Sulphur High students will be chosen for

the 2018-19 Youth Community Impact Program at the start

of the new school year, and Tellurian plans to expand the

program to other SWLA high schools in the future.

(See more on Q&A, Pg 24 and




















14 SWLA Feature Story

CPPJ Human
























DISCLOSURE: All materials contained in the publication are copy-righted and June not be reproduced or reprinted in part or its entirety without the expressed written

permission of The Voice of SWLA. The views expressed in articles of The Voice of SWLA are not necessarily the views of the ownership or sponsors in this publication. The Voice of

SWLA assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content.


Brenda Hill

General Manager

Tracy Clark


Team Publications LLC.

4310 Ryan St. Ste. 123

Lake Charles, LA. 70605

In the McNeese SEED Center


4 September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

Art Director

Vinh Alexander


Copy Editors

Jason Clark

Cecely Clark

Ann Champagne


Gene R. Hill, Sr.

Reginald Clark


Brenda Hill

Cheri L. Soileau, AICP, Executive/

MPO Director

Darlene Hoffpauirs

Emily Ashworth RN, BSN

Dianna Ross

Etta Pete, Executive Director-

Southwest Sickle Cell Anemia, INC.

Carl W. Ross, Sr., M.D.

Joyce R. Kebodeaux

Carra Sergeant, Ph. D.; LPC-S

Lela Gholar Tizano

Kris Welcome

Cover By

Kendrick L. Celestine

Youth Skills Development Specialist

American Job Center

SWLA news

Editor’s Note: This series of articles provided by Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning

& Development Commission (IMCAL) will inform, educate and update our readers on

events affecting transportation and economic development in Southwest Louisiana.

Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning

& Development Commission

2020 Census

By Cheri L. Soileau, AICP, Executive/MPO Director


hope that everyone is

attending the meetings

about the I-210 Bridge.

DOTD is working hard to

ensure confirmation is being


This month, we are going

to talk about the 2020


Every ten years, the Federal

government counts

citizens, and not just for

pure numbers but a variety

of reasons. The census

ensures that a community/

region/state gets the correct

representation in Congress.

There are areas in the

country that will gain or lose

representatives in the US

House based on the increase

or decrease of population.

Undercounting can ensure

data and leave regions underrepresented.

The census determines

how federal dollars are

distributed to a state, and

not only highway but health

care, law enforcement and

educational funding. The

data also forecasts more

than just the number of

people, it also helps with

the distribution of funds.

That’s why the census asks

about income, number

of people in a household,

race, orientation and other

information. After the data

is analyzed, new legislation

and/or funding sources may

be established because the

data has now shown a need.

The key words are “shown a

need.” The census also shows

transparency in governmentmeaning

everybody can see

how representation is done

and how funds are distributed.

The census also helps with

economic development.

Businesses look at census

data for trends and to see if

their business would work

in the city/town or region.

Not only does this bring

new business to the area,

these new businesses bring

jobs. Businesses will come

to areas that have the most

comprehensive data, so

they ensure success for their


The state and local

governments use this

information to update

their records for

emergency preparedness

and evacuation. When

first responders and law

enforcement know where

people live and, more

importantly, if there are

citizens who are physicallychallenged

or seniors, they

can prepare and make sure

these sensitive groups are

taken care of immediately.

Census data also shows trends

and can help communities

plan for growth and ensure

they plan for that growth.

IMCAL, along with the

parishes and cities

throughout Southwest

Louisiana, will be working

in establishing census

counting committees. These

committees will assist in

getting the word out to

citizens about the importance

of participating on the census.

The data collected is not of

a personal nature but purely

demographic, and to ensure

funding and services are

appropriate to the area.

We will be sharing more

information as we get closer

to the census but if you have

questions or want more

information, please feel free to

call us at 337-433-1771.

Cheri L. Soileau, AICP,

Executive/MPO Director

Imperial Calcasieu

Regional Planning &

Development Commission

Lake Charles Urbanized

Metropolitan Planning

Organization (MPO)

4310 Ryan Street, Suite 330

Lake Charles LA 70605

O: 337-433-1771

C: 469-964-2015

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 5

SWLA news

By Darlene Hoffpauirs

SOWELA Community Technical College and

Northwestern State University formalized a

2+2 articulation agreement for the RN to BSN

programs at the two institutions on Wednesday,

August 22, 2018 at SOWELA’s Lake Charles campus.

The agreement allows students who begin their RN career with an Associate

of Science Degree in Nursing at SOWELA to transfer those credits toward the

Bachelor of Nursing degree at NSU.

Pictured (left to right): Carson Stringer, Isaac Rodriguez, Nursing Professor Dr. Valarie Waldmeier, Vice

Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. Paula Hellums, Dean of Nursing & Allied Health Dr. Wendi Palermo,

SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall, Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio, Dean Dr.

Dana Clawson, RN to BSN Director Dr. Danita Potter, Denika Savoy, Johnny Owens.

6 September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

SWLA health, wealth & wellness Inform, Educate, Empower


for Those

in Need

By Emily Ashworth RN, BSN

"Words cannot

express the plethora

of emotions that I

feel when I think

of the upcoming

Remote Area

Medical free mobile

medical clinic in


Pictured L-R: Emily Ashworth, Community Host Group Lead and

Johnathan Evans, Communications Director for Community Host Group Lead.


have shed tears of joy and felt shear

excitement for the opportunity

to help so many people who are

hurting and have suffered from an

inability to receive much needed

medical, dental, and vision care. I have

also experienced pain and sheer upset

as I listen to people state that the clinic is

“not going to work” and what a “mess” it

is going to be.

I have always been prepared for

positive feedback from others about

service to the community; not expecting

negativity about an event like this.

There are 3 things that I have learned

as Community Host Group Lead:

First, everyone does not see the

vision that has been given to those in

leadership. Due to this shortfall, there

are going to be times when everyone

will not agree with what is being said or

done. Surrounding myself with a group

of people who are willing to follow and

collaborate has been the key to success.

Second, I have learned 'A Lot' about

myself. Often, I do not always realize

my potential and just how much I can

endure and withstand. Patience and the

ability to hold my tongue and not say too

much, but having the courage to say “I’m

sorry… I was wrong,” is rewarding.

Third, I have witnessed much love for

people that many thought had gone by

the wayside. Donors, volunteers (almost

500), prayer warriors, and so many others

have come together and given their time

talents and treasures to help individuals

they do not know.

Caring for those who are hurting and

in need is essential to the growth and

development of a strong and vibrant

community. I look forward to seeing you

all as we work together to bring 'Healing

and Restoration' to the broken and


Be Well!

September 15th and 16th Remote

Area Medical, a free mobile medical

clinic, titled Operation Healing and

Restoration, will provide free medical,

dental, and vision care to anyone who

needs it. You can go to www.ramusa.

org or for

more information.

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 7

SWLA Health Center



National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Eating Well With Sickle Cell

By Dianna Ross

For more recipes...


sicklecell/sickle-cell-cookbook.pdf for more recipes

8 September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

By Etta Pete, Executive Director-Southwest Sickle Cell Anemia, INC.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

describes a group of

inherited red blood cell

disorders. People who have SCD

inherit two abnormal hemoglobin

genes, one from each parent.

Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood

cells that carries oxygen throughout

the body.

Sickle hemoglobin can form stiff

rods within the red blood cell,

changing it into a crescent, or

sickle shape. Sickled shaped cells

can stick to the vessel walls, causing

a blockage that slows or stops the

flow of blood. This causes a lack of

oxygen which can result in severe

pain, called pain crises. The sickling

of the red blood cells and poor

oxygen delivery can also cause

organ damage. Overtime, SCD can

damage the spleen, brain, eyes,

lungs, heart, kidney, penis, joint,

bones, and skin.

On July 7, 2017 the U.S. Food and

Drug Administration approved

Endari (L-glutamine oral powder)

for patients age five years and

older with sickle cell disease to

reduce severe complications

associated with the blood disorder.

Endari is the first treatment

approved for patients with sickle

cell disease in almost 20 years.

Early diagnosis and regular medical

care to prevent complications also

contribute to improved well-being.


Facts About Sickle Cell

• Can be diagnosed either through

blood screening tests at any age,

prenatal screening, or as a part of

the newborn screening program

at birth.

The only cure for SCD is bone

marrow or stem cell transplant.

• SCD affects millions of people

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

throughout the world; particularly

common with those whose

ancestors come from sub-Saharan

Africa; Western Hemisphere (South

America, the Caribbean, and

Central America); Saudi Arabia;

India, and Mediterranean countries

such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

• Approximately 100,000 people in

the United States suffer from SCD.

• 1 out of 400 African Americans

have sickle cell disease.

• It’s a genetic disorder; therefore, it

is not contagious.

• If both parents have sickle cell

trait, there is a 25% or a ¼ chance

that their child will be born with

sickle cell disease.

Common health problems: pain

episode or crisis, infection, handfoot

syndrome, eye disease, acute

chest syndrome (ACS)and stroke.

People with Sickle Cell Disease

Can Live Rewarding Lives.

One out of 12 African-Americans

carry the sickle cell trait.

Combining all ethnic groups,

approximately 2.5 million have

the trait. Every human body is

composed of two hemoglobin

genes, one inherited for each parent.

The term sickle cell trait is used for

the condition characterized by the

presence of a normal hemoglobin

(Hb A) and a Sickle hemoglobin

(Hb S) in a individual’s hemoglobin


Sickle Cell trait is the carrier state

of Sickle cell disease. People with

the trait are usually healthy and

experience little or no discomfort

due to the one sickle cell

hemoglobin. However, many are not

aware of the severe complications

caused by sickle cell trait, including

death. Every year athletes and

military recruits die from conditions

due to lack of proper hydration,

proper oxygen therapy, high

temperature conditions, elevations,

and exhaustion during training.



voiceswla for more on Sickle

Cell Awareness.

“ Caring for the Community, because at the Center is You!”

Medical • Dental • Pediatrics • OB/GYN • Women’s Wellness • Behavioral Health

Fitness Center • Pharmacy • Podiatry • WIC • KidMed • Laboratory

Medicaid Application Center • Medicare Counselors

Lake Charles ~ Lafayette ~ Crowley ~ Oberlin

Call 337-439-9983 for an appointment today!

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 9

SWLA Health Center

YOU and



With A Focus On

Healthy Aging

By Carl W. Ross, Sr., M.D.

We have all heard the

statement before, "You are

only as old as you feel."

Though it has often been written off as

a "general cliché, there is a great deal

of truth in these words. www.dailymail.

There also is some spiritual truth in

these words as well for it is written, "As

a man or woman thinks in his or her

mind, so is he or she." (Proverbs 23:7

Paraphrased) If you think old, you will

invariably be old. If you think young, then

you will invariably feel young.

To age gracefully, there is not only a

mental component, but also a physical

component. You must not only keep

your mental attitude young, but you

must also engage in a physical program

of daily activity to keep you physically fit.

Your diet is extremely important. You

should limit your sodium intake and eat

a diet balanced in meats, fish, vegetables,

fruit, nuts, and adequate fluid intake,

particularly water. Naturally, religious

beliefs and any allergies will determine

which of these items you can or cannot

eat. Eat a balanced breakfast, lunch and

dinner. You truly "Are what you eat." Food

is fuel for the body as gasoline is for the

engine of your car. A multivitamin can

also be very helpful.

Exercise daily. Walking, jogging, riding

a stationary or actual moving bicycle,

free weights or weight machines, are all

ways to maintain your muscle strength

and endurance. At least take your arms,

legs, head, neck, chest, and abdomen

through ranges of motion to maintain

agility. Exercise amazingly will make you

look and feel younger. Neuromuscular

strength and well-toned muscles will

not only make you look good but will

stimulate your mental well-being as well.

Rest with a good night of sleep will

refuel the mind and body to face the

next day with confidence and strength.

The number of hours of needed rest will

vary depending on the individual, but

in general seven to nine hours of sleep

can be a working figure. Remember,

too much time at rest in bed can work

in reverse and cause your overall

neuromuscular strength to decrease.

Truly, "The bed can take your strength."

Last, but not least, a good social life is

imperative to stimulating not only the

mind, but the body as well. We, by nature,

are social beings. Interaction with family,

friends, coworkers, and even people that

we do not know that well, stimulates the

mind, verbal vocabulary, and invigorates

the entire holistic being which is the true

you, and the true me. Nothing will age

you faster than becoming a recluse or

staying isolated from people while still

working or after retirement.

Whether you are a "Believer" or not, daily

spiritual or mental meditation will revive

your spirit, and give you the strength to

"Face Tomorrow."

Have a "Plan A" to remain young at heart

while you age gracefully on your job,

and daily walk in life. Equally important,

have a "Plan B" to remain active after you


Remember you can be your "Best

Friend" or your "Worst Enemy" as you

add each year to your life. Be positive,

stay motivated, and "Age Both Healthily

And Gracefully."


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2


Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Ph: 337-439-9554

1617 N. Martin Luther King Hwy

Lake Charles, LA 70601



Pick up your copy of

The Voice of SWLA while

you’re out and about.


• West Cal-Cam Hospital

• Stines

• Pitt Grill


• Goodwill

• Hollier's

• Dairy Barn


• Pujo St. Cafe

• Chase (Downtown)

• Steamboat Bill's

• Civic Center

• Carnegie Library

• Luna Bar & Grill

Healthy Healing Herbs

These are two of Dr. Shaklee’s Signature Product


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Anyone who has a problem with constipation can attest to the effectiveness

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• Peto's

• Market Basket

• Southern Spice


• Post Office

• Market Basket

• Love's Truck Stop


• Brookshires Bros.

• City Hall

• DeRidder Hospital

• Post Office

• Steamboat Bill's




Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 11

SWLA non-profit

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

“It is important that the community understands the disease and

that we deliver up to date pertinent changes as they occur,” says

Etta Pete, Executive Director of Southwest Sickle Cell Anemia, INC.

Sickle Cell

By Etta Pete, Executive Director-Southwest Sickle Cell Anemia, INC.

SWLA Sickle Cell Incorporated,

is a non-profit organization.

The mission is to enhance the

quality of life for persons with

Sickle Cell Disease, their families, and

the community through education,

networking, guidance, and referral of

needs to support services. The local and

current Foundation has been working in

this community for more than 13 years.

The local office, Board of Directors, and

volunteers have dedicated thousands of

hours to ensure that the community is

kept informed.

Corporate Sponsor Phillip 66 Black Employee Network

L-R: Eric Ecter, Monica Collins, Tammy Bilbo, Bettie Morgan, & Stephanie Perkins


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

The vision of SWLA Sickle Cell is to

“ensure a network of committed

partners and informed volunteers

dedicated to promoting a healthy

lifestyle for individuals affected with

Sickle Cell Disease.” The values of the

organization are clear; Commitment

to individuals with Sickle Cell Disease,

Passion to help support and educate the

community about Sickle Cell Anemia

Disease, Integrity and Transparency in

administration practices and Dedication

to building continued partnerships and


18 at Ward 3 Recreation Center. This is a

national walk held between August 18

and October 27, 2018 to bring awareness

to those persons with Sickle Cell Disease.

In April, the annual Sickle Cell

Luncheon is held, and a Red Tie Gala

is held every other year to support

the services offered by the local

organization. The theme for this year’s

Red Tie Gala is “Rhythm and Blues.”

The Gala will be held at Treasures of

Marilyn September 29, 2018. Mister Sipp

“Mississippi Blues Child” of McComb

Mississippi is the featured musician

for this year’s Gala. For additional

information and tickets to the Gala

please contact 337-433-2602



Southwest Louisiana Sickle Cell

Anemia Inc is supported by a diverse

and highly active board of Directors.

The staff is Etta Pete, Executive Director,

Jasmine Mosely, Social Worker, Retana

Comeaux, Outreach Coordinator and

Merlin Mitchell, Senior Community

Service Employment Worker.

Board of Members

Marc Nichols, President, Catherine

Jordan, Vice President, Gaynell Perry,

Secretary, Neva Nash, Assistant Secretary,

Randall Davis, Treasurer, Kenneth Gay,

Debra Johnson, Rev. E, J. Kemper, Mary

Richard-Land, Brenda Lavine and Joseph

St. Mary.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2018



• Hydration Program

• Support Group Meeting (Every 4th

Thursday of the month)

• Education - Client journals

• Trait Counseling - Counseling

on Transportation for Doctor


• Referrals

• Tutoring

WINE SIP 6:00 P.M.








The Mississippi

Blues Child”


McComb, Mississippi

For more information call:

Southwest Louisiana

Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc

(337) 433-2602

The success of the local organization

is accredited to annual activities

supported by the community such as

the September walk-a -thon, Sickle

Cell Walk with the Stars "Walk for a

Cure" Teams, recently held on August



Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 13

My Senior Moment 2.0

By Joyce R. Kebodeaux

In Sickness

and In Health

When on August 21, 1965 Ruby

Deshotel and Carl O’ Bryan,

pledged their vows they had little

idea of what was to come. Theirs was a

beautiful but simple wedding in the Our Lady

of Wisdom Chapel at USL [Now University of

Louisiana at Lafayette].

After their marriage and getting their

degrees they moved to Lake Charles.

Ruby taught Business Education in several

high schools in Calcasieu Parish. Carl taught

Electrical Engineering in colleges and later

worked in the chemical plants.

After retirement, they participate in

community events and volunteer their

services to local organizations. Christus St.

Patrick, Lake Charles Memorial Hospitals and

the Parish Library especially recognized the

couple as assets to their operations.

“For better or for worse” was always an

important part of the couple’s vows. Last

month they celebrated their 53 rd wedding


While this may seem like a life without

problems by the time Carl was 60 he had

survived two complete cardiac arrests.

That his heart stopped beating twice after his

heart attack, didn’t keep Carl from returning

to a normal lifestyle. While in rehab and

therapy he learned of the many benefits of

exercising. He and Ruby began working out

at a local fitness club. Their passion for the

exercise program was as dedicated as it had

been to their work. Ten years after his heart

attack Carl suffered a stroke. After completing

another round of physical therapy and rehab

Carl was back again in the gym. It was here

he suffered his second stroke.

Ruby said “I thought I would leave there

a widow.” Then she says “Fortunately a

nurse was working out near us. She began

CPR right away and continued until the

emergency personnel got there. They took


Wedding day for Mr & Mrs Carl O'Bryan

him to Christus St. Patrick Hospital where

the doctor inserted a defibrillator. This was

in case the same thing happened again. I

was nervous about the surgery but I knew it

would be a life saver if he ever needed it.”

Working out in the gym a year later, Carl fell

to the floor again. This time he got up on his

own. The doctor gave him a clean bill of health.

The defibrillator saved my life.” Carl said,

“I am grateful for the divine intervention that

put everything in place that I am alive today.”

Between Carl’s episodes Ruby encountered

her share of problems. A torn rotary cuff

surgery was necessary and later a knee

replacement. Like Carl, Ruby didn’t let these keep

her from returning to her exercises. In July 2017

she learned she had breast cancer. Chemo and

radiation take a big part of her week but she still

finds time to do her own exercise program at

home. “I exercise at least 30 minutes a day. I do

all the exercises the physical therapists taught

me after my two surgeries.”

Carl enjoys the equipment at the gym. He

says “Walking on the treadmill keeps up my

stamina and helps my breathing. It is good

for my legs too.”

Visiting with Ruby and Carl and hearing

their stories is both a pleasure and inspirational.

I asked them how they handle it all.

I quote Ruby “Do the best you can with the


Their positive attitudes and exercise are

a big part of what keeps Ruby and Carl

going. And even though their health isn’t

what it was on their wedding day, they keep

healthy outlooks on life.

Carl O'Bryan in a daily workout

September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

A Shout Out

to Nanu from

Colten Toney

By Joyce R. Kebodeaux

September 9th is nationally

recognized as Grandparents Day.

This year Cheryl Toney will be celebrating it a

bit early as she travels on September 1st to

Troy Illinois to be with her grandsons Kaylin

and Colten and their parents Lane and Lisa Toney.

Several months ago, Cheryl was surprised to receive

her grandson’s letter telling of his latest adventure.

He received a certificate for a story he wrote that

has special meaning to Cheryl, a retired Glad Tidings

Preschool teacher.

Colten’s dad Lane has been involved with the soccer

teams for both his sons. Their family has lived in

Alaska, Texas, Australia, Germany, England, Hawaii

then Illinois. Lane served in the United States Air Force

for over 22 years. After his retirement in 2011 he and

his family settled down in IL. Since they’re back in the

states they can come down to see Nanu [as Colten

calls Cheryl] once or twice a year. Colten enjoys Nanu’s

cooking and being where his father grew up, doing

what his dad did with his uncles, Jeff and Stacey. On

their last vacation they caught fish but like all good

fishermen they won’t reveal where they caught them.

Every year Triad Middle School, participates in

the annual Young Authors Organization contest

to encourage the students to write. Colten was

recognized in a ceremony with other authors who

submitted stories this year...

It was interesting to learn Colten’s story setting

is Lake Charles, La. His main character is named

James. No coincidence that his grandpa who passed

away in 2010 was known as Jim Toney. The story is a

fictionalized version of himself applying for a job yet

readers are drawn into the plot as if they were right

there on the scene. His attention to details makes

one believe they are right there on the scene. At the

young age of 13 Colten has mastered the art of the

“show don’t tell theory” that all good writers live by.

Cheryl "Nanu" and her grandson Colten Toney

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 15

SWLA feature story

Are you interested in part-time assistants

in your office, kitchen, classroom, or other


The Senior Community Service Employment Program

(SCSEP) is a job-training opportunity for older workers

who are interested in strengthening their professional

skills. We match seniors with non-profits and public facilities

by engaging in job development through community service.

Our organization is responsible for 100% of worker wages and

collaborate with agencies throughout Louisiana.



To qualify for our program, you must:

• Be 55 years or older

• Be unemployed

By Brenda Hill

CPPJ Human



The Human Services mission is to implement and deliver

an array of services through its various offices, initiatives,

and collaborative networks in accordance with community

needs. It is one of fifteen services established by Calcasieu

Parish Police Jury (CPPJ) and charged with addressing the

needs of low to moderate income individuals and families

in our community.

• Meet the income eligibility requirement

• Be actively seeking a job while enrolled in our

training program

We are currently enrolling mature workers

who are seeking to re-enter the workforce or

to develop new job skills.

Stephanie Gauthier, ANPPM

Project Coordinator

“I began my work with the

Senior Community Services

Employment Program (SCSEP)

in December of 2007 as a

Business and Communications

Liaison. This was a very exciting

time for me as I learned about

the SCSEP and how this program

assisted seniors throughout the

state. In December of 2016 I

applied for and was offered a

position of Project Coordinator

with ANPPM/Project Ayuda. I

now manage the program for 15 parishes which includes Allen

and Beauregard Parishes. Contact our office at 318.876.2424,

FAX 318.876.2474, email or visit

us in Cottonport, LA at 912 Bryan Street to find out more

about job training or partnership opportunities.” Stephanie

Gauthier, ANPPM Project Coordinator

Are you searching for a part -time position or

looking to enter a new career field?

Veronica Boutte, ANPPM

Project Coordinator

“In 2009, I was out of

work for over 3 years,

had no income and did

not want to return to

my past life of 28 years

in retail sales. I applied

with Experience Works

to get computer training.

They were the Grantee

of the SCSEP (Senior

Community Service

Employment Program). I

was determined, ‘income

eligible,’ and was placed

in the Coordinator's

office where I learned

computer and clerical

skills. I remained

on the program for

the 48 months and

exited in November of 2013. At the encouragement of the

State Manager, I applied for a position that was available

with the company, was hired and worked in that position

until November 2015. I then applied and was hired for the


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

Coordinator's position and worked in that position until

January of 2017 when ANPPM (National Association

for Hispanic Elderly) took over the grant. I am now

responsible for determining eligibility, placement and

training for ten parishes in Southwest Louisiana with over

100 participants. Contact our office at 337.321.9313, FAX:

337.321.9324, visit us in New Iberia, LA at 910 E. Main

Street #13 or email to find

out more about job training or partnership opportunities.”

Veronica Boutte, ANPPM Project Coordinator.

“I was introduced to Experience Works by Barbara Disnuke

in March 2013. She explained this job training opportunity to

me in such a way that it interested me to become a Participant

Assistant (PA). I started working with Senior Citizens, 55 and

older, in 7 Parishes (Acadiana, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu,

Cameron, Jeff Davis and Vermillion), to get them back into the

workforce. Seniors remain in the program for 48 months and

afterwards, some maintain their positions and others are hired

into permanent employment. I am now with ANPPM/Project

Ayuda and am very pleased to assist Seniors, who gain such

a sense of value by having something to do. They also get to

earn extra income that helps them purchase treats, medicines,

toiletries, etc. Contact our office at 337.321.9313, FAX,

337.321.9324, visit us in Lake Charles, LA at 2009 Simmons

St or email to find out more

about job training or partnership opportunities.” Lee Lewis,

Participant Assistant.

Lee Lewis, Participant Assistant


Louisiana Louisiana

Rehabilitation Rehabilitation

Services Services (LRS) (LRS)

JobCorps JobCorps Goodwill Industries Motivation Education Senior Senior Community

& Training (MET)

Farm Workers

Service Service Employment

Program Program (SCSEP) (SCSEP)

Farm Workers

Louisiana Louisiana Workforce Workforce Calcasieu Calcasieu Parish Parish

Commission Commission (LWC) (LWC) Police Police Jury Jury (CPPJ) (CPPJ)

Louisiana Technical

Community College

System (LTCCS)

Wagner-Peyser Wagner-Peyser (WP) (WP) Community Community Service Service Block Block Grant Grant

Trade Adjustment Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) Act (TAA)


Reemployment Services and

SOWELA Reemployment Services and

SOWELA Technical Community

Eligibility Eligibility Assessment Assessment (RESEA) (RESEA)


Jobs for Jobs Veterans for Veterans (VETS) (VETS)

Strategies Strategies to Empower to Empower People People

Program Program (STEP) (STEP)

Adult Education &&

Workforce Innovation Innovation

Family Literacy and and Opportunity Act Act


Literacy Council of of Southwest


Adult Adult

Dislocated Dislocated Worker Worker

Youth Youth

American Job Center Locations:

Allen Parish Allen Parish Office Office Beauregard Beauregard Parish Parish Office Office Calcasieu Parish Office Vernon Vernon Parish Parish Office Office

602 Court 602 Street Court Street 1102 1102 West West First First Street Street 2424 3rd Street 408 408 West West Fertitta Fertitta Blvd. Blvd.

Oberlin, Oberlin, LA 70655 LA 70655 DeRidder, DeRidder, LA LA 70634 70634 Lake Charles, LA LA 70601 Leesville, Leesville, LA 71446 LA 71446

O: 337.639.2175 O: 337.639.2175 O: 337.462.5838 O: O: 337.721.4010 O: O: 337.238.3321

F: 337.639.2560 F: 337.639.2560 F: 337.462.6115 F: F: 337.721.4186 F: F: 337.238.3817

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 17

You Got Paid.

Now What?

You’ve just been handed your

paycheck. You feel a brief sense of

relief — and then you panic.

“How could it only be this much?”

“What should I spend it on first?”

“Will this cover all my bills?”

Contributed Article

We’ve all had questions like

these, regardless of our income.

But you don’t have to feel

overwhelmed when faced with financial

uncertainty. With a little foresight, you can

feel confident with how you’re spending

— and saving — your paycheck.

“Financial ups and downs are normal,”

said Ronaldo Hardy, CEO of Southwest

Louisiana Credit Union. “But the important

thing is to put yourself on level financial

footing now with good spending and

savings habits so that when life happens,

you’ll be ready.”

Pay Yourself First

“Paying yourself first” simply means that,

before doing anything else, you set aside

money for the future.

One of the best ways to pay yourself first

is to have a portion of your paycheck

automatically routed to your regular

savings account. You can also do this for

retirement accounts, emergency funds,

certificate of deposits, and specialty

savings accounts like Vacation and

Christmas Clubs.

This type of “autopilot” approach to saving

has a much higher chance of success.

Set Goals

It can be tempting to ride the waves of life

without setting real, tangible goals. But

the truth is that having concrete, timesensitive

objectives dramatically increases

your chance of financial success.

Setting goals like “being debt-free in five

years” or “saving enough to buy a new

family car next Christmas” will take away

some of that financial stress and give you

a framework for saving and spending.

Waste Not

So you like Starbucks, or maybe it’s going

to the movies and ordering buttery

popcorn and M&Ms. These are great for

special occasions, but here’s a reality

check: you could be saving hundreds

— even thousands — a year by making

your own coffee and watching that film at

home with some Orville Redenbacher’s.

We all have areas of wasteful spending.

Identify yours, and start chopping. You

might even enjoy it!

Bottom line: You can reach your financial

goals, no matter what it says on your

paycheck. It’s not how much you make,

but what you do with it that counts.


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2






All of our staff members became Certified Financial Counselors. Why? To help you get financially strong.

Come in and talk to us about

Money Management • Saving for What You Want • Reducing Your Debt • Building Your Credit • Loans for Any Good Purpose

SWLACU.COM • 337-477-9190


City of Lake Charles presents:


Lake Charles, LA

September 15 - 16

Free Dental Services

• Extractions

• Fillings

• Cleaning

Free Vision Services

• Eye Exams

• Glaucoma Testing

• Eye Glasses Made on Site

(based on prescription)

Free Medical Services

• General Medical

• Physicals

• Women’s Health

Remote Area Medical will hold a mobile medical

clinic on September 15 - 16 in Lake Charles, LA.

The clinic will be located at Lake Charles Civic

Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr Lake Charles, LA 70601

The parking lot will open no later than 12 a.m. and

numbered tickets will be distributed on first

come, first served basis beginning at 3 a.m. The

clinic doors will open at 6:00 a.m. each day.

RAM offers free, high-quality vision, dental, and

medical services on a first-come, first-serve basis.

No insurance or identification is required. This

event is free and open to the public

For information, visit

or or call

(337) 491-1378 | (865) 579-2555.

We would like to Thank Remote

Area Medical along with our

sponsors for making this event

happen and bringing free medical

care to those in need.

City of Lake Charles

Louisiana Healthcare Connections

Christus St. Patrick Health System

Christus Lake Area Hospital

United Way of Southwest Louisiana

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury

Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps

Lake Charles Memorial Health System

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital

National Bio-Care

SWLA Center for Health Services


Acadian Promotional Products

Pot-O-Gold Waste Services

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 19

Peace from Pieces

By Carra Sergeant, Ph. D.; LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor


The Ultimate Goodbye

We all have that loved one

in our lives who is “sad”

because they are “going

through something.” Or what about

that loved one that appears to always be

happy, confident and comfortable with

all the blows that life delivers.

The next time you see your “sad”

loved one, you want to say something

supportive, because you really do care,

but you do not know what to say. Or

the next time you see your “happy” loved

one, you wanna get inside their head to

figure out how they have mastered the

art of making peace with life. What is

the commonality here? YOU WANT TO


advice would be, in both cases,

DO IT! Talk! Ask questions!

In one or both scenarios, your

conversation may save a life.

The list of things we can be faced with

during the course of our life is endless,

but here are a few of the top ones:

Going to a new school, changing jobs,

having a child, or moving into a new

home are all life transitions that can be

happy, but any change comes with its

own set of unique stressors and can be

quite challenging.

• Death, divorce, unemployment or any

type of loss;

• Physical or mental illness.


• Uncertainty, insecurity, and fear,

about so many things.

Basically, any experience of change

or loss, whether anticipated or

unexpected, that contributes

to responses that look like

disappointment, sadness, or

devastation and sometimes, even

unusually happy and content, can end

up becoming one of life’s curve balls.

Because we aren’t going to be able to

avoid people who are “going through

something,” we have to practice getting

more comfortable with other people’s

discomfort or with their uncomfortable


Researcher Brene’ Brown writes in her

latest book, “to pretend that we can get

to helping, generous, and brave without

navigating through tough emotions

like desperation, shame, and panic is a

profoundly dangerous and misguided


We choose our words carefully because

we want to help resolve or fix things.

In truth, we mostly offer shallow support

and hollow words because we often just

want it to all go away. The problem is that

while you’re saying “supportive” things,

your loved one is thinking: “You have no

idea what I’m feeling. I can tell because

you’re saying all of these things that

have nothing to do with what I’m going

through.” Sadly, your loved one is smiling

the whole time –just to make YOU feel



What can we do for a loved one as they

struggle through their hardship?

• Make a care package: A carefully

thought out collection of soothing/

comforting items proves that actions

speak louder than words. Chocolate,

tea, coffee, flowers, books, coloring,

books, candles, a blanket, music (a

Spotify playlist, an iTunes album, an

actual CD)--requires nothing from

your loved one other than to feel

cared for.

• Donations to a cause important to

your loved one: Especially appropriate

after a loss, but actually fine at any

time as a more tangible way of saying

I’m thinking of you and I care about


• Say “I’m sorry that you are

experiencing these troubles.” That’s it.

It’s that simple. That leaves room for

your loved one to say whatever they

want or need to say.

It is time for us to accept the fact that

some things in life just can’t be fixed.

Since we can’t go thru life avoiding

people who are having a tough time,

we have to learn to be at ease with their

discomfort. In some instances, learning

to authentically listen to what your loved

one needs can mean the difference

between life and death.


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

"September is Suicide Prevention

Awareness month. This annual

campaign is dedicated to informing

and engaging health..."

We all have that

loved one in our

lives who is “sad”

because they are

“going through


What can

I really do

to help?

You are


about your

loved one.

Now what?

If someone you know is showing one

or more of the following behaviors, he

or she may be thinking about suicide.

Don’t ignore these warning signs. Get

help immediately.

• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving


• Talking about feeling trapped or in

unbearable pain

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill


• Talking about feeling hopeless and

having no reason to live

• Assuming they are a burden to loved

ones and family

• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

• Sleeping too little or too much

• Withdrawing or feeling isolated

• Exhibiting an unusual level of rage

and/or talking about seeking revenge

• Displaying extreme mood swings



• Call 911, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-

273-TALK. This point cannot be


• Do not handle the situation alone.

A person who is suicidal needs

immediate professional help.

• Let the person talk as much as he

or she wants to. Openly talk about


1. Ask "Are you feeling so bad that

you are thinking about suicide?"

2. If the answer is yes, ask, "Have you

thought about how you would do


3. If the answer is yes, ask, "Do you

have what you need to do it?”

4. If the answer is yes, ask, "Have you

thought about when you would

do it?"

• Comfort the person with words of

encouragement. Listen carefully, use

common sense and offer words of

encouragement when appropriate.

• Let your loved one know that you are

deeply concerned.

• Do not leave your loved one alone;

not even for a second.

Suicide can be preventable if you

recognize the signals. Once your

concerns have been raised, try not to

act shocked. It is essential that you stay

calm in order not to further intensify

the situation. Have a conversation in a

matter-of-fact tone of voice. If you want

to be supportive and you really mean

it—you can say, “I’m here to help any way

I can.” Or, “I’m here with you.” It’s okay to

let someone be the expert of their own

experience, to just listen and be there

with them as they work through their


If you do love this person, it’s okay-

-really okay--to say it. If you are

comfortable giving a hug and you think

your loved one might want a hug, then a

hug might and can work wonders.

September is Suicide Prevention

Awareness month. This annual

campaign is dedicated to

informing and engaging health

professionals and the general

public about suicide prevention.

There are a lot of resources online if

you need to obtain information on

how to help your loved one. For a more

comprehensive list of resources, go to:






Carra Sergeant, PhD, LPC


For an appointment, call


Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 21

ADVENTURES of the Lake

Train Up A Child

By Lela Gholar Tizano

A Tribute to Grandparents

Whoever was

banging on Irene's

door at this time

of the morning better have a

good excuse for disturbing her

sleep. "Who is it?" She yelled

with a firm voice. She was not

some helpless, defenseless,

frail, old woman. She had

means to defend herself and

whoever was on the other

side of that door was about to

find that out really quick. The

pounding on the door was

more forceful. She said a few

choice words under her breath

before demanding an answer

again. "I said, who is it!"

"Mrs. Irene Gladstone?" The

voice asked with authority.

"Who wants to know?"

"Ms. Gladstone, I'm Officer

Peters with the County

Sheriff's Office. Will you open

the door please?"

"And what is the nature of this

visit?" She asked as she lifted

the curtain to confirm his


"Ms. Gladstone, I have your

two granddaughters and I

need to speak with you about

placing them in your custody."

She yanked open the door

and looked into two sets of

scared, weak eyes staring back

at her.

"Hi Gram-mommy," Mae

and Maya said. They looked

nothing like the little girls

she had seen almost a year

ago. Their hair was mangled,

their clothes were dirty, and

they smelled like they hadn't

bathed in days.

She brought them inside and

put her arms around them.

Their gram-mommy's hugs

were as warm as the oven

she used to bake bread. They

needed that love.

"Y'all go in the room back

there and wait for me." She

ordered before turning her

attention back to the officer.

"Where's their momma?"

"Well, ma'am, I was hoping

you could answer that

question. We got a call from a

neighbor in their apartment

complex saying the youngest

one was begging for food.

Looks like they've been on

their own for a few days.

"A few days?" She shook her

head in disbelief.

"Yes, ma'am. I bought them

a couple of burgers and they

wolfed them down pretty


"Lord have mercy. What in

the world is going on with

that daughter of mine to just

up and leave her children like

that. I did not raise her to be

that kind of woman."

"Ms. Gladstone, if you should

hear from her please contact

me. Here's my card."

She stood there frozen and

watched the door close

behind him. And just what

am I supposed to do with

two little girls at my age, she


That was five years ago...

Irene didn't think she had

the strength nor the energy

to take care of the girls but

God made a way. They were

a family - happy, healthy

and thriving and for that she

thanked the Lord every day.

Finally, the girls had stability,

and structure.


Grace, How Sweet..." Irene

sang. Sunday mornings in

her household always held

the aroma of homemade

biscuits, bacon and eggs and

the sounds of gospel music

belting through the house.

The girls knew if they were

going to be to Sunday School

on time they had to be out of

the door by 9:10 sharp. Irene

was serious about Sunday

School and church and

whoever was knocking on her

door would either join them

or wait until they returned.

"Gram-mommy, somebody's

knocking on the door, " Maya


"You tell them we are on our

way to church and they can

come back later.

Irene turned off the radio,

grabbed her bible and her

church purse and headed for

the door.

"Good morning," a voice

echoed from the living room.

A chill suddenly entered the

house. Irene slowly turned to

meet the voice.

"I'm back and I came to get my

girls," Diane informed.

"Momma's back?" Mae asked

in disbelief.

"Diane, you can't just come

strutting in here after all this

time taking those girls away.

Why don't you just leave them

here with me?

"You ain't their momma. I am

taking them and there ain't

nothing you can do about it.

Girls, let’s go!”

The door slammed, and just


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

Dana Simien (Suga) and granddaughter Laila Carter

Pastor Alvin and Sandy Brass (Gpaw and Sunshine) with

grand daughters Rylee and Roya Palmer

like that they were gone. They

didn’t even say good-bye.

Months had passed. Irene

had given up any hope of

ever seeing the girls again.

They had given her a sense of


She worried about them

every day and every

Sunday she stood at the

altar praying for them. Her

heart grew heavy when she

listened to the words of

appreciation being expressed

by the grandchildren in

the congregation. It was

Grandparent's Day and she

longed for her girls. As the

tears began to flow she felt a

warm hand on her shoulder.

"Hi, Gram-mommy." She heard

in her ear.

Irene couldn’t believe her

eyes. There they were looking

prim and proper. She didn’t

think her heart could get any


“Hi, Mom.” Diane squeezed in

next to her mom and kissed

her on the cheek.

Irene lifted her head and

shouted. "Thank you, Jesus!

All my babies are here!" She

wrapped her arms around


"Happy Grandparent's Day."

They said and hugged her


"It sure is." She said with the

biggest smile on her face.

Dorothy Gholar (Granny) and granddaughter Tela Philpott

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 23


SCIP's Members L-R: Gabe Guillory, PR Manager, Alexis Bostick, Vice President, Olivia Reeves, Secretary, David Spicer, President.

Photo by Tyler Simien

Free Little Pantry

Sulphur Community Impact Program (SCIP) MEMBERS

By Brenda Hill

Free Little Pantry

Project launched on

Wednesday, August 8,

2018. Based on the national

free little pantry model,

the pantries were placed in

accessible locations making

food and hygiene items

readily available to local

residents in need while others

can donate items by placing

them directly in the pantries.

To ensure sustainability of the

project, the location partners

will manage the free little

pantries moving forward.

“Through our work

we came to realize the

power and influence

youth can have in the

community by taking

responsibility in directly

addressing an issue that

is detrimental to local

individuals,” said David

Spicer, President of SCIP.

David Spicer, President,

manages all financial records

for purchases and accounting

for the group, stands in for

a member during a leave of

absence, provides guidance

and support for the members

and serves as assistant should

another member need help

on a task. David serves as the

quilt maker that sews together

the tiles of every member

into one complete quilt, one

complete SCIP.

Alexis Bostick, Vice President,

provides support to the

other three members with

her presence and her help in

a variety of events to ensure


Olivia Reeves, Secretary,

creates material to disperse

to community officials,

including brochures and

project proposals. She also

helps oversee communication

between SCIP, its partnering

locations, in-kind

partners, bookings, hiring

photographers, rentals for

tables, etc.

Gabe Guillory, PR Manager,


September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2

supports fellow members in

completing tasks, running

errands, gathering items and

all that’s needed to ensure

successful meetings, PR

events, etc.

QHow were you four chosen?

AIn October of 2017,

Sulphur High School

announced the creation of

a Youth Community Impact

Program sponsored by Tellurian

Inc. that would receive a $20,000

Grant to create a sustainable

project that addresses an issue

in the area. Interested students

had to turn in an application

with a required essay covering

community involvement after

school and a sponsor evaluation.

Four students were chosen:

David Spicer, Olivia Reeves, Alexis

Bostick, and Gabe Guillory.

QHow does your team

manage its diversity of each

member’s presence, ideas, input,


AThough SCIP is a diverse,

multiracial group with

backgrounds from different

races and socioeconomic

classes, each member presents

their own perspective on how

food insecurity affects their

community. Having a small

group of four members, SCIP

works closely with each other,

understanding compromise is

crucial to maintain involvement

and implementation of all

members. The benefit of the

small group is every member

feels comfortable voicing

their opinion, even if it is a

dissenting or concurring opinion,

and different positions, SCIP

considers each member equal in

vote, opinion, and expected work


QWhat procedures are put

in place to manage food

items during varying weather


ASCIP researched items that

have been successful in

other free little pantry projects.

SCIP aimed at buying items

that were heat tolerant but also

demanded by residents. SCIP

provided all partnering locations

information resources on how

to handle a variety of issues,

including weather patterns and

stock abuse. SCIP encourages

all partnering locations to trial

test certain items that have

any concerns, before fully

implementing it into the pantry.

SCIP is paving much pathway for

the future of Free Little Pantries

by implementing the project in

southern Louisiana.

QWhat does Alexis, Gabriel

& Olivia feel their strong

points are and how does it aid

SCIP’s mission?



- I believe my strong

points are dedication,

professionalism, and optimism.

SCIP's main mission is to address

food security, and I think that

my attributes go hand in hand

when aiding that mission. My

dedication keeps me going.

I know what I am trying to

achieve, and I am willing to do

whatever I can to get there.

However, not everything is going

to run smoothly, and that is

where optimism comes in. Not

only am I dedicated to reaching

the goal at hand, but I am able

to see the bigger picture and

maintain a positive attitude

in the face of the road bumps.

I think professionalism is the

"finishing touch.” None of the

hard work matters if you don't

present yourself or the project

well. I believe when I met with

people and did presentations,

I communicated our mission

thoroughly and respectfully.



- I feel my strong

points are; remaining

focused, having compassion

towards others and taking

initiative. This project has

required me to use all these traits

in order to overcome obstacles

placed before us. Throughout

the duration of the project

it was necessary to remain

focused to achieve our goal.

Once we met with local officials

to discuss prevalent issues that

we may not have been aware

of in our community, my eyes

were opened to the numerous

amounts of people who go to

sleep hungry. They did not know

where their next meal would

come from and immediately I

felt the desire to help. Taking

initiative ensured that there

was something constantly

being completed during the

project, which was essential

to completing our goal. SCIP

Sulphur Community Impact Program (SCIP) Free Little Pantry

has brought together multiple

different leadership styles,

opinions, and personalities. I

could not be more grateful for

this experience, everything it has

taught me, and the long-lasting

friendships it has created.

AGabe - My strong point

is being comfortable

communicating with people.

My communication skills help

aid SCIP’s mission in this project

because we communicate

with many different people

such as the mayor, city council,

police jury, school personnel,

industry leaders, etc. So being

comfortable talking with people

really helps.

Photo by Tyler Simien

Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 25


Funeral Home

By Kris Welcome

One of the inevitable

conditions of our

existence on Earth

is death. No living thing is

impermeable in regard to death’s

reach. Many of us have lost

loved ones and know firsthand

the burden the death process

brings upon a family. However,

there are morticians who

stand as the strength a family

in bereavement seldom finds

amongst themselves. Anthony

Stevens knows this reality all too

well, having worked in the funeral

home business for over two

decades, and as someone who

has been bereaved.

On July 30, 2018, Stevens

Funeral Home opened for

business. “I’m hoping to bring

a new level of professionalism

and service to a familiar industry,”

Stevens stated. Although his

funeral home is new, he is no

stranger to the community in

regard to delivering dignity in

death. Working in the funeral

business was a dream of

Anthony’s since childhood. When

he completed high school, he

went on to embalming school

and returned to the area to

complete his license.

It was during his time at

Combre Funeral Home that

he got his license and fully

engulfed himself in the world

of homegoing celebrations.

After his tenure at Combre, he’s

worked with several other funeral

homes in the area perfecting

his knowledge of the craft and

business aspects. Stevens always

knew that eventually he wanted

to own his own facilities that

would give everyone an amazing

experience they wouldn’t forget.

“Death is hard for everyone.

It’s not an easy process. I have

been bereaved and sympathize

with all my clients,” Stevens recalls,

“I lost my mother and father so

it’s a hurt I know all too well.” This

experience has led him to want to

ensure his customers are given all

the resources they need to have a

homegoing that is reminiscent of

the desires and life of the person

passing over.

“I want to give the area a onestop

shop atmosphere with

my funeral home,” Stevens

stated. There are so many moving

parts to planning a funeral that

makes the burden much more

to bear—a venue, a pastor, a

choir, the get together for family

afterwards, and so many other

moving parts that make you want

to run away. However, Stevens

Funeral Home is ready to take

away all the stress by providing

a large bulk of the things you

need. Offering a sizeable chapel, a

repast facility, access to ministers,

and other services needed to

carry out the service your family

member deserves. His goal is to

simplify the madness that comes

along with death.

“Keeping the service personal

to the loved one you’re

celebrating is the best advice

I could give. Make sure the

service is one they’d love to have

witnessed,” Stevens offered as

advice to anyone planning a

homegoing celebration. Taking

on the task of burying a loved one

can be grueling, but it’s worth

it when you know the service is

one they’d be proud of. After 20

Anthony L. Stevens, Owner/General Manager

years in the business, Stevens

knows what it takes to help with

personalizing a funeral to cater to

the needs of families.

One issue in many black homes

is the lack of proper insurance

to cover the hefty final costs

of a burial. The average funeral

can carry a price tag of $10,000,

and many people don’t have the

resources to make it happen.

“It takes education. We need to

understand the programs out

there to help offset the burden

death brings. Life insurance,

pre-needs, and other services

are indeed available if you seek

them out,” Stevens addressed

as the change needed in the

community. Just as surely as we

have lived, we will also die. The

last thing you want is to leave

your family with debt in your

passing, or even worse, end up

being left with the debt of a

loved one’s passing. Taking the

necessary steps to offset these

instances is key to shifting the

paradigm we find so often in our

communities where we end up

needing to solicit donations or

hold dinner sales to fundraise for

funerals. This can be avoided with

Stevens’ Funeral Home

823 N. Shattuck Street Lake

Charles, Louisiana 70601

proper planning and consistency.

In the three short weeks they

have been open, they have

already serviced three families!

Although Stevens didn’t

want to brag, it’s definitely an

accomplishment to see such

growth so soon. He plans to

continue to deliver the same

quality service he has been

attached to for decades at his

own business, but with his own

personal touch. He loves to

work with families hands on so

that he is certain they’re being

handled in the most respectable

and courteous fashion possible.

It’s evident that Anthony is

prioritizing service and care; two

of the most important needs for

grieving families.

Stevens Funeral Home is

located at 823 N. Shattuck St.

in Lake Charles. Stevens Funeral

Home proclaims that they are

The Beginning of a Legacy of

Service: Professional, Personal,

and Caring.” To me, those are

all the things that the business

entrusted with your loved one’s

final journey should embody. If

you find yourself in bereavement,

or just want to prepare for when

that time arrives, we encourage

you to contact Stevens Funeral

Home to handle all your end of

life needs. Whether you need it

today or later down the road,

death is inevitable—let’s make

sure we are doing everything to

get ready for life’s end.


Funeral Home

The beginning of a legacy of service

“Professional, Personal, & Caring”





September 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 6 • Number 2




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Volume 6 • Number 2 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM September 2018 27

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