COVID pushed food pantries across the country to their limits, and CCA (Christian Community Action) in Lewisville, Texas, was no exception. Through sheer determination and dedication, CCA managed to keep local stomachs full and smiles on children’s faces. Their efforts were rewarded November 9, when it was announced at the Unity and Community event that CCA was named Non-Profit of the Year. “Unity and Community is made up of Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce and the Highland Village Business Association,” explained Lori Walker, President of the Flower Mound Chamber.
Through fiscal year 2020, CCA distributed 31,109 meals through their Kids Eat Free program. 1,008 backpacks made their way into the 2020 Back to School program, many of them filled during the 27,061 visits to the organization’s Food Pantry. Also on the list for a CCA boost were the 3,651 meals distributed to senior citizens.
CCA began as a Bible study group with seven people in 1973. Today, it’s an organization with 19 staff members and 3,800 volunteers. Headquartered in Lewisville, it’s one of the largest non-profits in North Texas. It provides more than 8,000individual services each year. “It seems as if CCA has been around forever,” said Walker. “It’s a real presence because it’s so active in our community with so many programs and services. Of course, it has been here nearly five decades.”
The organization’s mission statement says it ministers to the poor, in the name of Jesus, by providing multi-faceted services that alleviate suffering, bring hope and change lives. The intrinsic goal is to use careful case management, implemented through a holistic approach, to bring families in need from rescue to transition. The final phase for those families is to achieve self-sufficiency through what CCA refers to as a “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out.”
There is no one-size-fits-all program at CCA. Instead, there’s a comprehensive approach for individuals as well as for families, whereby CCA actually walks beside them through all the relief and restorative services. This includes financial assistance programs, education needs and spiritual well-being. One of the most important factors is that mutual accountability is required of all parties.
CCA’s educational services include workshops to increase knowledge and skills, instilling in individuals a confidence to reach for employment as well as for income growth. Computer skills and financial management are taught along with ESL (English Second Language) and GED classes.
One of the most vulnerable groups within any society is labeled “Senior Citizens.” One of CCA’s goals within this group is to help individuals sustain outside connections and friendships, thereby allowing them to maintain a place within society. This is accomplished through food and fellowship, financial and holiday support, lunches and transportation vouchers.
Counseling and spiritual care are, of course, mainstays of CCA.
Christian Community Action is far more than a convenient drive-thru, drop-off point for bags of used clothing and household goods. It is, as the name says, action. That action is a complete program designed to surround those in need with a sincere and caring hand-up.