Forrest General partners with Extra Table to spread holiday cheer using art

Forrest General partners with Extra Table to spread holiday cheer using art

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Extra Table in Hattiesburg.

Forrest General Heart and Vascular Services, in conjunction with local non-profit Extra Table, are working to help make a difference for families in the Pine Belt this holiday season. Over the next 4 weeks, Extra Table and Forrest General will be sponsoring the first ever Home is Where the Heart is for the Holidays themed art competition and fundraiser.

Students from Forrest and Lamar County school districts will decorate handmade cards based on the competition theme. Two finalists from each grade level will be selected to represent their school in the final competition, which will be judged by local Mississippi artists. The top designs will be announced at an awards luncheon hosted by Forrest General on December 4, with prizes provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Heart disease is the number one killer in state of Mississippi. It is well known that obesity and poverty are two risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, with patients who live in poverty there is often a culture of obesity. If we could modify these risk factors, we could improve healthcare in the state," said Chris Douglas, M.D., cardiologist.

All of the handmade cards will be available for purchase and can be used as an 'alternative gift' to Extra Table in honor of friends and loved ones. This holiday season, Extra Table will be working to distribute tons of fresh, healthy food to more than 20 soup kitchens and food pantries throughout Mississippi in an effort to help feed the over 670,000 Mississippians who are hungry every day.

"It sounds cliché, but it is very true: hunger knows no season. The food donations Extra Table provides year-round to the Edwards Street Fellowship Center food pantry make a difference in the lives of food insecure families in our community," said Ann McCullen, executive director of the Edward Street Fellowship Center.

"In addition to the necessity of feeding their families, many of our clients simply crave the normalcy and comfort of sitting around a table enjoying a balanced meal with their loved ones. When we hand someone a few bags of groceries, we are actually giving them hope and a little peace of mind," said McCullen.

Handmade cards are available for purchase for $5 through Extra Table. Cards will be packaged and sent to desired recipients prior to the Christmas holiday. For more information about Home is Where the Heart is for the Holidays or Extra Table, click here.