Shelby County Outreach Ministries receives $5,000 boost from Superior Healthplan donation

The community outreach and ministry programs of Shelby County Outreach Ministries received a much needed $5,000 boost Wednesday in the form of a donation from Superior Healthplan.

In a presentation Wednesday morning at the ministries, Rachel Thompson representing the statewide network covering all 254 Texas counties, she presented the contribution surrounded by staff, volunteers of Shelby County Outreach Ministries. Among those on hand was Sherry Harding, executive director for the county-wide social services organization.

“This is sorely needed to help fund the four programs of SCOM,” Harding said. The ministries operates completely from donations, fundraisers, church support, income from the resale shop and grants like the one from Superior Healthplan and those that come through the Deep East Texas Council of Governments.

“We have our Helping Hands program,” Harding said. Emergency food boxes are provided to an average of 300 times a month to families and individuals in need.

“We also help out with needs like utility bills, prescriptions, emergency doctor and dentist visits and with medical supplies,” she said. At the SCOM Senior Nutrition Site the program provided 15,777 meals last year both on site and through a Meals on Wheels program providing meals to shut-ins, Harding said.

“We cover the needs of all of Shelby County,” she said. “This will help, but we need more support,” Harding said of the community.

A hand full of local churches have committed support to the social services ministries. But, she said, the estimated $2,200 to $2,500 a month coming from those congregations only covers a small part of the on-going need.

Thompson said grants like the one awarded to Shelby County Outreach Ministries are available to participating providers working with Superior Healthplan in the communities the plan serves.

The managed care organization provides Medicaid services. Thompson works out of Superior's Tyler regional office.

We are very, very fortunate and proud to be able to work with so many agencies that do serve the communities that are most in need,” Thompson said. She said Superior officials are proud of the work SCOM does locally and wanted to help expand that effort.'

Grants like the one awarded to SCOM can be investigated through an application process that can be found online at