City of Athens Management Team donates turkeys

The City of Athens Management Team donated 10 turkeys to the Athens Soup Kitchen on Nov. 14. Pictured are from left: Community Services Coordinator: Adrianna Hinds, City Secretary: Bonnie Hambrick, and members of the Athens Soup Kitchen’s management and volunteer team. The Soup Kitchen will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Please contact the Athens Soup Kitchen at 903-681-2754 for more information. (Courtesy photo)

Family Peace Project says it is time to take a stand and ‘Be A Man’

Pictured are, from left, Louisa Garrett of the Family Peace Project, Jeff Weinstein, and Jon Garrett of Athens Screen Printing, which is printing the t-shirts.

DETAILS: ‘Be A Man’ shirts are on sale now through Monday, Nov. 20, and will be delivered Monday, Nov. 27. The Family Peace Project is asking men to wear their shirts Tuesday, Nov. 28, in solidarity with victims of domestic violence. Short sleeve shirts are $10 and long sleeve are $20, with larger sizes $2 extra. You can order your shirts online at or at the Family Peace Project in Athens at 720 East Corsicana. Contact Louisa Garrett at for more information.

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCNow

It’s time for men to stand up and say enough is enough when it comes to domestic violence — and the Family Peace Project has a way to start.

The FPP recently rolled out new “Be A Man” t-shirts and the organization is asking the men of Henderson and Kaufman counties to take a stand against domestic violence by purchasing one.

“The goal is to create a social change,” Louisa Garrett of the Family Peace Project told me this afternoon.

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Masonic Youth donate items to the Cedar Creek Lake Friends of the Animals

The Gun Barrel City Masonic Youth Rainbow Girls donated much needed items to the Cedar Creek Lake Friends of the Animals on Saturday, Oct. 7. The girls enjoyed collecting these items and helping the animals.

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a service-oriented, leadership organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20. Rainbow Girls participate in a wide array of activities, including leadership training, service projects, competitions, and annual retreats. Their younger group, the Pledges, have activities for girls ages 7 to 10. Please contact Mrs. Donna Dean at 903-345-2001 or Mrs. Tonya Currey at 903-920-5608 for more information about the Rainbow Girls or visit The Gun Barrel City Rainbow Girls and Pledges are proudly sponsored by the Cedar Creek Lake Masonic Lodge and the Gun Barrel City Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star on Legendary Lane in Gun Barrel City.

Pictured are, from left, Heavenlee and Cailee Weldon; (back) Mrs. Tonya Currey (Mother Advisor), Laura Walters, Tara Trimmins, Mason Phillips, Emily Currey, Samantha Ramos (Worthy Advisor, and Mrs. Donna Dean (Grand Deputy). (Courtesy photo)

Family Peace Project gets $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation

Press release

Throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation℠ is awarding $20,000 grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam for a total of $3 million. The Family Peace Project was chosen to receive one of the annual grants to further the organization’s efforts to combat domestic violence and provide rehabilitation services throughout Henderson and Kaufman counties. This year’s highly sought-after grant slate brings the total investment in The Foundation’s annual shelter grant program to nearly $42 million.

Continue reading “Family Peace Project gets $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation”

Labor of Love has been ministering to Henderson County since 1986

Labor of Love provides free home repairs to those who can no longer maintain their homes “due to age, disability or other circumstances beyond their control.” (Courtesy photo)

Podcast by Tim Howard
Story by Michael V. Hannigan

Since 1986, Labor of Love has been providing free home repairs to those who can no longer maintain their homes “due to age, disability or other circumstances beyond their control.”

The faith-based organization averages 130 to 140 projects a year and has had an incredible impact on the people of Henderson County, one ramp and one repair at a time.

HCN’s Tim Howard sat down recently with Athens Samaritans Labor of Love President Roy Talbot to talk about the program. (Listen to the podcast above for some great stories from Roy Talbot)

Talbot says Labor of Love covers the entire county.

“Trinidad to Chandler and all points in between,” he said.

Applicants do go through a screening process stating their income level, age and circumstances.

“In 99 percent of the cases we see it is obvious that the home repairs are needed,” said Talbot.

Labor of Love spotlights four major groups: the handicapped, indigent elderly, single mothers raising children, and grandmothers raising grandchildren.

“Our primary focus is health and safety issues,” Mr. Talbot said.

Talbot said that includes things like installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening bathroom doors to accommodate wheelchairs, changing out bathtubs for standing showers and, of course, installing wheelchair ramps.

“One of the neat things about our organization is, for the volunteers and the project managers, they can immediately see the difference in the life of that person,” said Talbot.

Labor of Love works all year long.

“All of my searching across the internet convinces me that we are unique in the nation,” Talbot said. “That is an amazing statement to make. There are other organizations that are similar, but none do what we do.”

Major contributors for the program are Henderson County United Way, the Cain Foundation, the Murchison Foundation, other foundations, churches, businesses, and individuals.

Contact the Labor of Love office by calling 903-675-LOVE.

(Follow Michael V. Hannigan on Instagram/Twitter @mvhannigan)