Operation: A Cajun Christmas

News letter updates Nov. 7

Last week I called Mom Macie Sellers asking the following “ Tell me a “big” ticket item, a special item that would help either the nursing home or children's ward at the local hospital”. I asked if a big TV and perhaps a computer, for the nursing home, for the children's ward at the hospital perhaps a big TV and a game system, DVD player and computer.

Mom immediately spoke of our friend and driving force in Vermilion Parish Francis J. Plaisance, President, Louisiana Cattle Festival Association. It is Francis who is putting the wonderful A Cajun Christmas festival on Dec 16th.

Mom reminded me of Francis’s great work with the very busy foster care program in Vermilion Parish.

Francis is a former pastor of the Abbeville Church of Christ and just retired from the state with
27 plus years service, and retired from the Dept. of Social Services as a Child Protection Investigator for
over 20 years. In a phone conversation with Francis this week he shared with me facts concerning the foster care program in the Parish including statistics and just how sadly busy and stressed this program is.

Please read the following excerpts from his letter to me yesterday:

On another important note that we spoke about by phone, the annual party for the foster kids of
Vermilion Parish, allow me to explain our efforts over the years. I am a former pastor of the Abbeville Church of Christ, and it was during that time that our church began sponsoring a party for the foster kids. Each year, we would have a party at the local skating rink, and assemble toys donated by the community, and present them to each child.

Last year, we rented a hall at St. Theresa Catholic Church here in Abbeville, and with the assistance of friends of mine from Hollywood, purchased and gave 173 bicycles for the foster children and the children of the Family Services homes, where efforts are made to rehabilitate the family, rather than removing the children It was a spectacular and emotional evening. We also purchased and gave choices of hams or turkeys to the foster families. The foundation from Hollywood who helped us last year can not help us this year. I just retired from the state with 27 plus years service, and retired from the Dept. of Social Services as a Child Protection Investigator for over 20 years, but would like to keep the tradition and Christmas party for the kids alive. The Office of Community Services averages better than 80 children in foster care in Vermilion Parish each month.

Any assistance that I can get in accomplishing that will be greatly appreciated, and I will be happy to organize the event. It also could be in conjunction with the December 16th event. And yes, the office could use a plasma TV or even two, one for the children when they visit with their parents, and the other for the parenting classes that are held in the same building on a regular basis. Other projects can be discussed as we approach that date, and once again, thanks for the interest in our state and community, and I am looking forward to working with you and participating.
Please allow me to be available at any time for information or assistance at (337) 652- 0646.
Thanks again, and God Bless you all and your efforts.

Francis J. Plaisance, President, Louisiana Cattle Festival Association.

Lets see if we can arrange for these items for the foster car center perhaps also getting the same setups for the nursing home and children's word at the local hospital.


DVD Players
Game systems such as XBOX or Playstation and games.
Computer or computers.

Ideas for attaining these items.

A group of family for friends or club, group getting together to buy one or more of these items.

Talk to any contact you may have who is the electronics business

Go to your local SEARS, Best Buy etc. telling them about our operation asking for this great donation.

I contacted corporately Target, Best Buy, Sears, KMart and other big box stores, fro all I received the same response that being that such donations are done at the local store. I was encouraged by each corporation to get our members to go to their local store locations to ask for donations of toys, gifts and perhaps with Best Buy and Sears for example donations of these Tv's and commuters etc.

Lets see what we can do for all our friends including Francis J. Plaisance and his foster program and it's children.

Keep up the great work we are getting close now, its holiday time and now the interest is growing and can grow greatly if we keep pushing.

Thanks and be well

Mark, Mom Macie and Aaron

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." ---- [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

Santa graphics courtesy of: The Santa Lady http://www.santalady.com