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Care Club 2014A group of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) students served a pre-Thanksgiving meal to residents of the WestCare Homeless Shelter on Sunday, November 23.

The C.A.R.E. (Community Awareness Reaching Everyone) Club, a group of human services students at BSCTC, has served residents of the shelter on the Sunday before Thanksgiving for the last 12 years. The idea came about when Jimmy McCoy, a former human services student, took the idea and worked to bring it to fruition.

Oftentimes, you have ideas but you are not sure how you are going to make it happen, said Tammy Ball, LCSW, coordinator of the human services program at BSCTC and C.A.R.E. Club sponsor. Jimmy just took the project on, and the next thing we knew, we were in planning mode and weve made it an annual tradition.

McCoy went on to finish his degree from Lindsey Wilson College. He and his wife, Renee, opened Hope in the Mountains, a comprehensive drug treatment facility for women, in 2008. Each year, Hope in the Mountains assists the C.A.R.E. Club in preparing and serving the meal.

Ball said she and her students get so much out of the experience.

Our students go in to the Human Services program to work on the frontlines of many social service agencies, and its rewarding to see their compassion for people in action, she said. Homelessness is a real issue, and everyone here has a story, a family and a dream. Its so rewarding to listen and to offer hope.

This year, the Auxier Freewill Baptist Church joined the effort. Members of the churchs youth group sang Christmas songs and brought gifts for the residents.

In this time of Thanksgiving, we are thankful to help, but we are eternally thankful for organizations such as WestCare that provide this service to the people of eastern Kentucky, said Ball.

For more information on the C.A.R.E. Club and Human Services program, contact Tammy Ball at (606) 889-4787 or email