Readers proud of Good Samaritans; disappointed with Outreach
by Kathy Campbell, Chuck Campbell, Board Members; Sylvia Steele, GW Mayor;
Jul 01, 2009 | 1026 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JoAnn Couk, Delilah Pier and Jim Bassett are indeed good Samaritans! Their actions on June 6, 2009 make us all proud to be residents of Live Oak County. We would like to thank each of you for your generosity and selfless behavior. Live Oak Outreach on the other hand, displayed little generosity, selflessness, or compassion on that day. Live Oak Outreach was founded in 1987 with an awareness that there are limits to what one congregation or civic group can do, the purpose of Live Oak Outreach, Inc. will be to enable congregations and civic groups to help the hungry and the homeless in the Live Oak County area with emergency help for dire needs on a temporary basis….” (Exert from the Live Oak Outreach By-Laws – Section 4. Purpose) According to Outreach’s own By-Laws, anyone in Live Oak County who is hungry, homeless and in dire need is entitled to emergency help from Live Oak Outreach. As current and former Outreach board members, we realize that the citizens of Live Oak County don’t necessarily know all the facts regarding Outreach, so here are a few facts on three different issues:

Food distribution

In April of 2008, Outreach had to dispose of (throw away) outdated food. Many board members where very upset that food was not distributed to clients and had to be thrown away due to expiration dates.

In 2008, $31,140.00 was donated to Live Oak Outreach for the purchase and distribution of food as a food bank or food pantry.

Outreach purchased $1,120.83 of food from the Food Bank of Corpus Christi for the entire year of 2008. (3.5% of the total amount donated for that purpose)

Live Oak Outreach provided food for 380 families or 1314 individuals for the entire year of 2008. That is about 32 families each month. Outreach is to be commended for providing food to these families.

In comparison however, Live Oak County Community Food Bank in Three Rivers and St. Vincent de Paul – George West Food Pantry provide food to over 150 families each month.

Board Members

Outreach By-Laws - Section 2. Organization (b.) In order to provide representation for Individual Pledges, at the first meeting of each year, the Board of Directors, upon the recommendations of the personnel committee shall appoint and seat two representatives from George West and two representatives from Three Rivers to serve on the Board of Directors, as Members At Large on the Board of Directors. Each city thus represented will be allowed one vote on the Board of Directors.

A request was made to the Outreach board president by the city of George West to seat representatives from the city of George West. The board president refused to take that recommendation to the executive committee or the board at large for a vote.

The request from George West came with an offer to allow the citizens of George West to voluntarily donate $0.25 of each month’s utility bill to Outreach.

The board president declined the offer without taking it to the executive committee or the full board for a vote.

The offer from the city of George West was withdrawn and made available to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Live Oak County who readily accepted the offer.

After much debate and board opposition, representatives from the cities of George West, Three Rivers and Valero were seated as Outreach board members at large at the November 2008 board meeting.

At the January 2009 board meeting, the board president attempted to completely ignore the results of that November meeting. By having the minutes of the October board meeting read and accepted as the minutes of the previous meeting, the results of November meeting would be nullified and the representatives from George West, Three Rivers and Valero would be unseated as board members. This attempt was recognized by the board and the president’s tactic was unsuccessful, however:

No written minutes from previous meetings are provided to board members for review and approval.

The newly seated members from George West, Three Rivers and Valero are not notified of upcoming meetings or listed on the board roster as are the rest of the board members.

Frequency of board meetings

The board of Outreach is required to meet only 4 times a year (quarterly). Outreach by-laws state that any other meeting may only be called by the president of the board of directors with the approval of a majority of the executive committee comprised of the board: president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

Due to the changing and timely needs of the citizens of our community, requests by board members have been made to have monthly meetings.

The board president has refused to take these requests to the executive committee based on the assumption that Outreach board members are unable and/or unwilling to meet on a monthly basis.

Most organizations require its board members to meet monthly and board members are required to attend a set number of those meetings. If they are unable or unwilling to attend meetings, they are retired from the board.

These are just a few facts regarding Outreach. If you would like more information about this organization, please feel free to attend the next board meeting on Thursday, July 9th at 6 p.m. at Live Oak Outreach located 4 miles north of George West on US 281. Live Oak Outreach is a 501-C3, non-profit organization funded by and serving the people of Live Oak County. As such, Outreach is required to disclose any and all information about the organization to anyone upon request. Like any non-profit organization, Outreach cannot exist without community support and involvement. Volunteers are always needed and welcome! To volunteer, call the Outreach Director at 361-449-1860.

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