The 8th Annual Holiday Care Package Drive was held today at Northgate Mall.
As she has for the past eight years, Tonya Bolden Ball was there with volunteers to accept donations for care packages for Acadiana neighbors.
"I've been doing this for eight years, and it's something that's near and dear to my heart," said Bolden Ball, an Acadiana motivational speaker, life coach and community strategist. Lots of people do drives for food and toys, but "I wanted to go a different route, especially with my background in social services. I understand the importance of making sure we collect items like detergent, toilet tissue, paper towels, because that really adds up. Being in a pandemic, hard times don't discriminate against anyone."
Bolden Ball was aided by a group of volunteers that included family and friends, police officers, and the Mason community.
"This is just a great day to give," she says. It's important "that we take care of our people."
It's easy, and common, to compartmentalize people according to education levels or perceived economic status, but everybody needs help at some time or other, she said. And, while often that help is financial in nature, there's another benefit to this kind of effort, she adds.
"Just to know that someone is actually thinking about you and not asking for anything in return, holiday reciprocity goes a long way. It's important that we continue to show love," she said.
She's still accepting donations of laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, toilet tissue, paper towels, household cleaning products, trash bags, dish towels, cleaning brushes and cleaning sponges.
Anyone who would like to help can call (337)541-1828 or email email@example.com. If you know of someone who could use the assistance that a care package provides, you can visit the website tonyabball.com to fill out a nomination form.
Bolden Ball encouraged everyone to think about their neighbors now - and later.
"When the holiday season ends, there will still be a need, so just start somewhere," she said. "Everything we do, no matter how small, it's going to make a difference."