After the holidays, donations are still needed - - The News for South Mississippi

After the holidays, donations are still needed

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Barbara Ruddiman manages the Lord Is My Help soup kitchen in Ocean Springs. Christmas is over, and she says another tradition begins.  

"We're very blessed during the holidays. Unfortunately, when we get to January, it's as if we don't exist," Ruddiman said.  "Everyone has given all through the holidays. However, I still have quite a number of families that are coming in for help." 

The pantry is well stocked now from holiday giving. In two months, many of the cupboards will be bare.

Meanwhile, volunteers prepare meals for delivery. It resembles an assembly line of nutrition. Then it's time to hit the road to offer help and a hot meal. 

Louis Stiglet does that job and always has a friendly greeting.  For Louis, nothing beats this feeling. 

"I've been doing this three or four years and I wouldn't quit for nothing. And I've been in business all my life and I didn't know what enjoyment was until this. It's like a family," Stiglet said.  

One battle that charities like The Lord Is My Help fight every single year is that the need does not stop after the holidays are over. In fact, it even increases, according to Ruddiman. 

"I have not seen the job market pick up the way we've been told it's supposed to be picking up. I still have a number of people struggling that are looking for work that cannot find it," Ruddiman explained. 

One of those people is Scott Speder. The bags of food he picked up Thursday are a blessing. 

"This is my first time ever being here and I heard it from a friend," Speder said. "I'm just down on my luck a little bit and this helps out people like me."

The Lord Is My Help is open Monday through Friday, and accepts donations of food,  and even volunteer time during those days. The charity delivers about 150 meals a day to shut-ins, and serves lunch to about 100 people.

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