People Attempting to Help recognized five local entities for their active partnerships with the nonprofit in meeting immediate needs for East Texas residents.

PATH, as it is more commonly known, honored East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, KLTV-Channel 7, TXU Energy, Walmart stores of Tyler and the Genesis Group with its new Trudy Richardson Community Impact Award for their contributions to its emergency assistance programs.

Richardson was the granddaughter of PATH’s founder, Gertrude Windsor, as well as an active volunteer and PATH board member.

“We really wanted to focus on those businesses who are huge supporters of PATH and we really couldn’t do this without them,” PATH Executive Director Greg Grubb said Thursday during the organization’s annual PATH Week Celebration Luncheon at Green Acres Baptist Church CrossWalk Conference Center in Tyler.

PATH meets the needs of East Texans through a variety of services including a food pantry; emergency utility, rent and mortgage assistance; basic medical services; long-term prescription assistance; and a mentoring program.

In the past, PATH gave the Windsor Award to an entity that helped with long-term services. Grubb said the nonprofit may return to this award in the future. However, this year, the new award was the focus.

Award recipient East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind is a nonprofit organization serving the needs of blind and visually impaired people through rehabilitation, education, training and employment. The Lighthouse has partnered with PATH for several years.

KLTV was recognized for its efforts in publicizing PATH’s Coats for Kids program. KLTV General Manager Pat Stacey said it’s easy for them to tell people about PATH’s mission.

“It’s there because the need is there,” Stacey said. “We’re grateful to be a part of PATH.”

TXU Energy was honored for its partnership that allows PATH to pay for people’s utility bills. Kim Campbell, TXU Energy senior manager, told the crowd that over 6,000 clients have been assisted through the program.

“That’s making an impact in this community every single day,” Campbell said.

The Walmart stores of Tyler were recognized for serving as a retail donation partner. Mike Vasquez, PATH resource supervisor, accepted the award on behalf of the local Walmart stores. He said in a video presentation the partnership has relieved financial obstacles for PATH.

The Genesis Group, a software company in Tyler, was honored for its active participation in PATH charitable causes, such as the summer fan drive.

Michelle Small, PATH volunteer and Kelly Community Federal Credit Union CEO, advocated for people to help in any way including by volunteering, giving donations or praying for the organization.

“There’s always a need for volunteers,” said Small, who has been involved with the organization for 10 years. “You can certainly pray for us. The Lord has used this ministry in amazing ways.”

TWITTER: @ZWellerman

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