Lowndesboro Methodist hosts toy drive, soup cookoff

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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Residents of Lowndes County and surrounding areas traveled to Lowndesboro Methodist Church on Nov. 12 to take part in the community’s third annual Toys for Tots drive.

Michele Sousa, coordinator for Lowndes and Butler County Toys for Tots said the event was a success and had a higher turnout than in previous years.

“It turned out wonderful as it does every year,” Sousa said. “This is the third year and its gotten bigger and bigger with more support and more community involvement.”

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Sousa said she believes the uptick in community involvement can be credited to a more widespread understanding of how the program works.

“A lot of people didn’t previously understand that what is collected here stays here,” Sousa said. “I think now that people are seeing that it’s going to help us locals, we’re having more people come out to help us.”

Attendees of the event were encouraged to bring a homemade soup to enter into the a cookoff contest. According to event coordinator and pianist for Lowndesboro Methodist, Lora Ward, the cookoff was largely popular with those in attendance.

“We had 15 soups and 57 people,” Ward said. “Winners of the cookoff were Jack Daniels who won first place with camp stew, Kyla Hagood who won second place with buffalo chicken soup, and Lora Ward who won third place with taco soup.”

According to Sousa, in addition to the crowd’s excitement for the scrumptious soups there was an impressive amount of toys donated to help Lowndes county children in need receive Christmas gifts.

“This was not our [Toys for Tots’] idea, it was Lora’s idea,” Sousa said. “She researched and reached out to us and we’re glad she did. We collected an SUV load full of toys.”