Grant helps reach out to Diboll

Following years of parties, family gatherings, and business meetings, the Temple House on Hines Street lives on as the current location of Diboll Christian Outreach.
It is a place where many local families can receive much-needed services every week.  The recent award of a $20,000 Keeler grant will help ensure that the organization can continue to provide help to those who need it.
“We serve about 90 families every week,” said DCO Director Kathy Rodgers. “About half of those are elderly who need assistance in one way or another.  We are primarily a food bank, but we do sometimes provide other services on occasion.”
The Keeler money is being used to offset the expenses of keeping the building functional.  Necessary repairs often turn into big projects that cannot be anticipated in the regular budget and must be funded from other sources, Rodgers said.
For instance, the gutters recently had to be repaired, but workers discovered some rotted boards that needed to be replaced as well.
“The Temple House is the Outreach building,” Rodgers said.  “But it is used often for other things by the community. In fact, it was used nearly every week last year for a total of 62 times overall.  The Keeler donation helps us be able to continue this practice.”
Grants from the Thomas T. Keeler Grant Program are made in honor of Thomas T. Keeler and his wife Cora and in memory of his grandfather T.L.L. Temple and his mother Marquerite Temple Payne. Organizations selected to receive the grants must seek to enhance the educational, social, and physical qualities of life within the community in the areas of education, health, community and social services, cultural arts and the humanities.
Rodgers listed several examples of activities that have been held at the house.
“We’ve had civic meetings including Diboll Day groups, class reunions, business meetings, wedding and baby showers and birthday parties for adults,” she said.  Meetings for commercial or political purposes and parties for children are not allowed.
Diboll Christian Outreach operates strictly on donations from individuals and churches in the community.  Rodgers explained that funding does not come from the Temple family or the Temple-Inland corporation.
“Some individuals and groups donate on a regular basis, while others hold special drives at certain times,” she said.
One example is the annual postal worker food drive, where everything collected from Diboll addresses goes to DCO.  Others are the school food drives and specific target collections conducted by churches such as those for cake mixes or eggs at certain times of the year.
“We talk to everybody who comes in to try to determine just what their needs are,” Rodgers said. “We have some who come on a regular basis and some who just need a little temporary help getting over a rough time.”
Diboll Christian Outreach is open every Thursday from 9:30 until 11 a.m.