As community members enjoyed block parties for National Night Out, they also served up a little compassion for their neighbors in need.

A call for help from the Seguin Police Department helped rally area residents into donating almost 500 pounds of non-perishable food items to the Seguin Christian Cupboard.

“My hats are off to all of the community members who came out and brought canned goods, boxed goods or some staples that we can give to the Christian Cupboard, so they can give to the folks in our community that are in need,” Seguin Police Chief Terry Nichols said. “We are really very proud of the different groups that brought different stuff. We hope this really helps out.”

Nichols brought the idea of hosting a canned food drive from his previous post in Brownwood.

There, the police department encouraged residents to bring cans of tuna for their food pantry, Nichols said.

Wanting to try something similar here, Nichols talked to Seguin Police Crime Prevention Officer Tanya Brown, who was helping to organize the block parties, about a week before.

Brown immediately jumped on board, Nichols said.

“Tanya Brown was able to pull this off. I doubted it, it was too short on time,” he said. “But she said we can do this and it is really nice to see the community come together.”

National Night Out is observed throughout the country allowing community members and the first responders who serve them to get together and interact in a positive setting.

“National Night Out is something that is very important to the department, something that it is important to law enforcement,” Nichols said. “It gets us out and engaged with the community.”

In Seguin, 26 neighborhoods hosted parties, and many of them collected canned goods.

Pleased with the turnout, Nichols said he is optimistic about making the drive a yearly event.

“If we can do this much in a week-and-a-half, imagine what we can do next year,” he said. “This is something small and hopefully something we can do annually in October and make it much more robust. Hopefully, we’re standing inside a room full of canned goods and food that we can give to (the Christian Cupboard).”

Seguin Christian Cupboard volunteer and Wednesday crew lead Marvin Berry said the donations are welcomed.

“We appreciate all of this,” he said. “Anything we can get we appreciate. This will help a lot.”

With November and December being the largest months for donating items, Berry said people often forget about the summer months when food is just as important to families.

“This is one of the bad times of year. We have a big drive in November, but the summer times are bare because people don’t think about us,” he said. “There are more people in need during the summer, because parents and grandparents get their kids along with other people to support. This will help us a great deal as a start for the food drive, which will kick off in another month.”

The Seguin Christian Cupboard accepts donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries and monetary donations.

“We need funds too because we have to buy food,” Berry said. “Things that are not donated, we have to buy.”

To make a donation or to volunteer, call  830-379-4857 or visit 516 N. Camp St.

Felicia Frazar is the managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at felicia.frazar@seguingazette.com .

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