COPPERAS COVE — Since 2000, once every other month, a group of Killeen and Copperas Cove area community leaders gets together for a “meeting of the minds.” This group is known as the Greater Copperas Cove Community Agencies Network, and earlier this week met at Grace United Methodist Church in Copperas Cove
The group’s mission statement says that they are “Community agencies that network and utilize existing community resources to meet the basic needs of communities in Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties.” However, Constance Smith, volunteer coordinator for The Refuge Corporation, said that these meetings are open to anyone who would like to share their program.
Among this group are leaders in various churches, veterans groups such as Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans, officials from welfare programs such as WIC and Medicare, and also city leaders, such as Cove Mayor Frank Seffrood.
What is noticed is certainly the sense of purpose and commitment from all of these individuals, but also the sense of fellowship between them all as a whole.
“We often say we’re better together,” Smith said, “and we really are.”
They discuss what each is doing in their respective communities to meet those basic needs, how they refer clients to each other based on that client’s needs, as well as any upcoming events their groups are holding. For instance, there are many events happening this Saturday that directly benefit the community.
First, The Refuge Corporation’s Mobile Food Bank will be at the corner of 8th Street and Avenue C in Killeen from 9 a.m. until 12 noon Saturday. Volunteers will be giving out about 12,000 pounds of food, to include fresh produce.
“We want to reach more and more (people) every time, and feed as many as we can,” said Joseph Solomon, who heads The Refuge Corporation, based in Cove.
Next, the Rev. Steven Chae of the Jesus Hope and Love Mission is hosting a free children’s walk-in clinic at 818 N. 4th Street in Killeen on Saturday. Doctors, nurses, and volunteers from Baylor Scott and White McClane Children’s Hospital, and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will be there from 10 a.m. until noon to give well and sick exams, sports physicals, and hearing, vision, and dental screenings. There will also be a podiatrist and a dermatologist on hand, and free personal hygiene products while they last.
“This mission is all about helping this community, and providing what we can,” Chae said.
Lastly, Sandra Minor of the Adolescence Young Adults Drinking and Driving, or AYADD, Outreach Center is holding a “Gentleman’s Dinner” on Saturday at the Killeen Red Lobster at 1001 E. Central Texas Expressway at 6 p.m. Saturday. She has seven “economically challenged” young men who will be having supper with seven older gentlemen, who will be mentoring the youths on such things as how to conduct themselves in a more formal setting and conversation skills. Minor said this will prepare them for future opportunities, such as searching for employment. Minor said.
“If we address them as gentlemen, they will relate to themselves as gentlemen,” she said.
She went on to say, “We don’t have a lot, but what we do have, we want to share.”
And that sums up the spirit of the Greater Copperas Cove Community Agencies Network.