John Hendrix is an amateur photographer and can always be found with a camera in his hand except for the night of March 14. This was the 2nd Annual Food Drive Skate night at Skatetasia, a skating rink and game hall located 40 minutes south of Memphis, TN off I-55 in Sardis, MS. Hendrix probably wished he was wearing roller skates as he was busy accepting donations of canned food, selling snacks, directing traffic, and a million other activities. Hendrix, along with his wife, Jeanine, have owned and run Skatetasia for over 20 years and they regularly put on food drives.
This night, they teamed up with Billy Brown, Executive Director of Let's Talk It Out to organize this food drive which gathered canned food for Panola County Food Pantry. The price of admission for each guest was four cans of food and the event was a huge success with over 300 visitors packing the small building. Door prizes were handed out and Brown shared information about the dangers facing the youth in Panola County. Brown feels passionately about community and hates to see anyone go without, whether it is food or educational opportunities.
Jeanine Hendrix said that Skatetasia hosts several of these food drives every year. Some of the food goes to local pantries and other donations go to Mexico. They also have peanut butter and jelly drives as well as toothbrush and toothpaste drives. "I'm not sure these events have actually helped our business but they sure haven't hurt it either", John Hendrix said. "Besides, we have to help others less fortunate than us. That's what it is all about".
Let's Talk It Out offers programs for Panola County young people helping them find alternatives to many of the problems facing them in their community and offering a way to rise above their circumstances to become successful in life. For more information, visit http://letstalkitout.org/.