Elevate361 West side family event provides vital support to Corpus Christi community

Lola Ponce

On May 11 Elevate361 holds a West Side Family Day for its community aimed at providing support and resources to residents.

Upon its grand opening, Elevate361’s young volunteers assist with signing up visitors, making nachos with cheese up on requests and placing food bank boxes inside trunks and back seats of families in need.

Samantha Muilenburg, Service team leader at Elevate361, assisted with the hospitality for the student volunteers as well as organizing and delegating them to their stations whether its stirring the queso or placing the boxes in vehicles.

“We’ve been seeing the youth involved in the organization with walk-ins. Students from Coles talk about Elevate361 and what they are doing on the weekends. So those students are curious and stop by and sign up,” Muilenburg continues, “My mom and I are very involved in this. They know they will be fed and transported … the little things are taken care of so those who volunteered can truly be present and helpful during events.”

A significant highlight of the event was the presence of the Corpus Christi Food Bank, which distributed free boxes of food to households in need. This initiative aimed to alleviate food insecurity; a pressing issue exacerbated by economic challenges. Local families flocked to the event, grateful for the opportunity to access nutritious food items to sustain their households.

Kelly Hooper, one of Elevate361’s youth leadership members as well as their hype cheerleader for the program most of all enjoyed giving back to her community with free food.

“Free food attracts a lot of people. They were all smiles,” said Hooper, “We were packed! I love helping people. Putting a smile on people’s faces; it was a good vibe. For the community that came out to support us, I would do this again.”

Moreover, the event featured an array of booths offering a spectrum of services tailored to address various community needs. From assistance for those recovering from drug habits to support for individuals facing homelessness and mental health challenges, the booths provided invaluable resources and guidance.

AnnaLisa Garcia-Cantu, a parent to one of Elevate361’s youth volunteers.

“I know a lot of people are hurting financially. The fact of what they offer is worth it. My son volunteers willingly. He’s young and wants to help,” said Cantu proudly.

Cantu encourages other parents to spread the word about what Elevate361 has to offer to their own children.

Notably, many of these services were offered free of charge, underscoring the organizers’ commitment to ensuring accessibility to vital support systems for all members of the community. Representatives from local organizations and support groups manned the booths, ready to lend a helping hand and offer compassionate assistance to those in need.

As Corpus Christi continues to navigate challenges, events like Elevate 361 serve as beacons of hope, demonstrating the power of unity and collective action in creating a brighter future for all residents. The success of today’s event highlights the resilience and compassion of the West Side community, inspiring optimism, and renewed determination to overcome adversity together.

Special thanks to those who volunteered at West Side Family Day booths:

Coastal Compass, Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, SCI Texas, Operation Link, Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living, DMC Viking College, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Food Bank, and MHP Salud.

For more information visit Elevate361 website at Elevate361.org .

Visit their location at 3015 Morgan Ave. Corpus Christi, Tx 78405

Contact: 361-563-2814 (Kimberly Head Center Director)

Email: info@elevate361.org

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