By Sara Tirrito
President Ken Starr will be speaking on service within the community at Caritas of Waco’s largest annual fundraiser, Feast of Caring, on Thursday.
Caritas is a nonprofit organization that provides food and other emergency services to those with needs in the community.
“We’re very excited about having him be there with us because we felt very positive about him and what he’s done within our community,” said Buddy Edwards, executive director of Caritas. “The Baylor relationship has just been outstanding, so we’re very delighted to have him with us.”
The fundraiser will take place at 6 p.m. at the McLennan Community College Conference Center. It is open to the public, and there is no admission charge although donations are accepted.
Edwards said Feast of Caring provides an opportunity to celebrate the work of Caritas and also to make others aware of needs in the community.
“We love to have those individuals who are already familiar with Caritas to come and help us celebrate, but we also encourage those who are not familiar with Caritas to participate in our event, to learn more about our operations and to look to the possibility of becoming a Caritas supporter in the future,” Edwards said. “It’s great to be able to share with the community more about what we’re doing, and since there isn’t any charge for the event we’re encouraging folks to come in and enjoy a meal with us for the evening.”
The meal itself is intended to help open guests’ eyes to the needs of those that Caritas serves.
“It’s very nontraditional; this is not the typical type of banquet food that most folks would expect,” Edwards said. “The food is actually soup and bread and it is done with the thought in mind of trying to help people empathize more with the needs of the hungry, the needs of the poor.”
Bill Foulds, assistant executive director of Caritas, said the fundraiser is important because it provides an opportunity to educate others on the needs of the community as Caritas is preparing for the summer, when families’ needs are greater because children are home from school and must be fed.
“Summertime is a tough time for us food-wise and the Feast of Caring is an opportunity to make people aware of who we are and what we are, and making people aware of what the needs are throughout the year,” Foulds said. “This is a chance to do that and encourage people to contribute to Caritas throughout the year, not just once or twice.”
The organization hopes to raise $50,000 through Feast of Caring, Edwards said. Caritas is already accepting donations and will continue accepting them after the event.
Donations can be made at the event and through the Caritas website at www.caritas-waco.org. Donations can also be sent by mail to 300 S. 15th St., Waco, TX, 76701.