LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles family will have enough food and presents this Christmas season thanks to help from the Calcasieu Parish School System.
Olimpia Bellard of Lake Charles recently resigned from her job in the cafeteria at Barbe High School to better care for her 7-year old son, Corey. Corey suffers from eczema, a chronic skin disorder that currently has this St. John's Elementary student homebound.
"He gets sick three to four times a year and it's hard for me to work," said Bellard.
Bellard's lack of income and medical bills had her worried she would not be able to afford Christmas for her children.
"We were living off of Roman Noodles for a week," said Bellard.
Bellard decided to turn to her retirement funds for money to provide her children a decent Christmas.
"I went to the Personnel Department to cash out my retirement just so my kids could have Christmas," said Bellard. "But then they told me it wouldn't be in until after Christmas when I would get the money. Then I started tearing up."
Bellard said just hours after she left the CPSS Central Administration building she heard from the employees at the Personnel Department.
"I got a call that afternoon and they went and bought my son a jacket, bought my kids Christmas," said Bellard.
Employees in the Personnel, Purchasing, and Payroll Departments at CPSS pitched in to provide the family a turkey, clothing and Christmas gifts to the Bellards.
Bellard added that she could not believe the generosity that came from complete strangers who saw she was in need this Christmas.
"I just cry a lot from it, and I'm very grateful," said Bellard. "It's nice to know that there are people out there helping people that are in need."
Other school board departments at the CPSS Central Administration building heard of the project and immediately donated money or purchased food and clothing for the family.