Ocean Springs church reaches out to people out of work

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Barack Obama said high tech is the key to reigniting American manufacturing. He also talked more about his plan to create a partnership of federal government, universities and corporations to create more jobs. In the meantime, high unemployment continues around the nation and here at home in Mississippi.

An Ocean Springs Church providing its own kind of economic bailout. Roxanne Seidule went to the church for groceries. She said if it where not for the kindness of others her family would be out of food as well as out of work.

"We work construction and there is no construction jobs," said Seidule. "We've been putting in applications and you know no one is really hiring at this time. "

Eastside Church of Christ members say it touched their hearts to see so many people hurting from layoffs in the economic downturn. Nearly six months ago the Ocean Springs congregation started a weekly food and clothing giveaway with members volunteering their time to sort clothing and food.

Julius Atkins is one of the members. "Just your basic necessities of food which consist of one or two meals to make it during the week. We don't give out a whole week's supply because we're a small church. Our membership here is about 63, 64 true members."

Atkins said the church purchases food from an area food bank and many of the clothes come from people in the community. Volunteers said while they can't meet all the needs in the community, they believe every little bit counts.

"If all of everybody in our community was to pitch in and do something positive to help regardless of what the situation would be," said Atkins. "It would be a better and greater community. Our community service services are stretched. Our government community services are stretched so far and thin right now. The churches. I hate to bring it back but we had Katrina and it was all of our religious organizations that helped out more. "

Roxanne Seidule said, "Right now times are hard and if it wasn't for the churches, it would be difficult. We appreciate the churches to help people that are having a hard time."

Eastside Church of Christ hold its food and clothing giveaway from 10 am to 1 pm every Saturday. Church members say you must live Ocean Springs, Gautier, St. Martin, Vancleave or Fountainebleau to be eligible to receive the free items.

For information on how to volunteer or make a donation call 228-875-5239.

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