H-E-B’s Help End Hunger Campaign to Benefit Caritas of Waco

Press release –

H-E-B and Caritas of Waco are partnering together to help feed the hungry in our community.

In the Waco community, approximately 30% of the population live below the poverty line. Many of these individuals do not know where they will get their next meal, and summer can be an especially challenging time with children not having access to school meal programs.

H-E-B’s Help End Hunger campaign supports food banks and food pantries throughout Texas, assisting people who struggle to avoid hunger. Locally, Caritas of Waco will benefit from funds raised by this effort. In turn, Caritas will provide needed food assistance to individuals and families in the Waco community.

At H-E-B stores in the Waco area, customers can help their neighbors by adding a $1, $3 or $5 donation to their final grocery bill. All proceeds from the donation campaign will benefit Caritas.

The campaign is running from May 8 through June 25 in all area H-E-B Stores, and the community is encouraged to support this important effort.

For more information, contact Buddy Edwards, Executive Director of Caritas, at 753-4593, ext. 205, or bedwards@caritas-waco.org.   

“Deaf”initions of Reasonable Accommodations and Effective Communication

by Teresa Porter

The marketing department is working overtime to paint Waco as a wonderful place to visit and spend money, but “word-of-hand” carries more weight than a slick advertising campaign. Every day, the Deaf citizens of Waco are openly excluded from equal access to the fun activities. If Waco is truly the “heart” of Texas, where is the love?

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires government entities (local, state, and federal), businesses, and non-profit organizations to provide reasonable accommodations for equally effective communication to persons with communication disabilities.

Communication disabilities are defined as visual, hearing, or speech; covering the broad spectrum from people who wear glasses to people who can’t speak, hear, or see. Each person has different abilities and will require different accommodations. The person will tell you what they need, and it is the legal responsibility of the business to furnish the necessary aides or services.

“Reasonable accommodations” seems to be the biggest problem. I recently visited the websites of several of the popular attractions of Waco and searched for information about requesting interpreters or auxiliary aides. Nothing. I contacted a few, and days later the replies slowly trickled in.

Some places said “no” and did not respond to further communication, others did not reply at all. One reply was “six weeks advance notice.” According the ADA, “no” is the wrong answer; and “Covered entities may require reasonable advance notice from people requesting aids or services, based on the length of time needed to acquire the aid or service, but may not impose excessive advance notice requirements.” “Walk-in” requests for aids and services must also be honored to the extent possible.” Six weeks seems incredibly excessive, like obvious discrimination, especially if the event wasn’t heavily advertised more than six weeks in advance. (There is an interpreter shortage in Waco, but normally 24-48 hours in advance is plenty of time.) Reasonable accommodations are negotiable, and many factors should be considered including the complexity of the material to be presented and the linguistic abilities of the participant. Depending on the circumstances, written notes, captioning devices or qualified interpreters may be necessary to provide equally effective communication.

What is equally effective communication? It is the clear, effective, meaningful, and inclusive conveyance of words and ideas. It means Deaf and hearing people receive the same information and opportunities to participate in the conversation. It means captioning devices that work or video relay that isn’t laggy or blurry, and staff that is trained to set up or troubleshoot the devices when they don’t work. Sometimes, it means enlisting the services of a qualified interpreter familiar with specialized vocabulary.

Effective communication begins with staff training and ends with happy customers. Happy customers post positive reviews on social media, and more importantly, they tell their out-of-town friends.

Teresa Porter is a native Texan, automotive enthusiast, and novice gardener. In her spare time, she is a freelance writer, researcher, and community activist.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Sustainable Waco: June 1 is Household Hazardous Waste Day!

By Anna Dunbar

Happy end of the school year, everyone! And you know what the end of school means to me – it’s time for Household Hazardous Waste Day! That is a special day when residents can bring things that should not be put in regular household garbage or poured down drains to be properly disposed of or recycled. It is a free service and occurs about once per year.

First, the specifics:

Who: This event is for all residents of Waco, Hewitt, Lacy Lakeview, and Woodway that live within the city limits. Residents must bring a city utility bill or other proof of city residency and driver’s license. Waste will not be accepted from residents from other cities or those who live outside of a city limits.

When: Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 7 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.


What to bring: Paints, CFL and fluorescent bulbs, batteries of all kinds, electronics of all kinds, including TVs and computers, automotive fluids, insecticides, weed killers, pool chemicals, cleaners, poisons, corrosives, paints and paint products, flammables and most other hazardous chemicals from households.  Also, tires (5 per household); No tires with rims/wheels, Residential tires only, No business tires, No Skid Steer, Earth Movers, large farm or agricultural tires;  Maximum size is 20 inches.

Please NO: Agricultural Chemicals, Dioxins, Containers Larger than 5 Gallons, Explosives/Fireworks/Ammunitions, Industrial or Commercial/Business Waste, Propane Cylinders of Any Kind and Compressed Gasses, Radioactive Materials, Business Waste, Large Appliances, refrigerators, syringes, trash or garbage.

A steady stream of cars containing items to be disposed of will probably be at the collection area on Saturday. Please BE PREPARED TO WAIT IN LINE!

What to do before the event

 Take inventory! Remember that paint that is totally dried can go in your regular trash. Other tips-

  1. Keep items in their original container.
  2. Organize items together in a box(es). This will allow workers to remove your items quickly.  It is best to keep paint products separate from other waste.
  3. Place items in boxes, pad with newspaper. This will help prevent possible spillage in your car/truck and will enable workers to remove materials quicker.
  4. After you pack your car, drive directly to 501 Schroeder Drive.
  5. Mid-morning is usually the least busy time.  The busiest time is usually when the event first opens at 7 AM.

MOST IMPORTANT – Never Mix Chemicals and Never Smoke while handling your hazardous materials.

Finally, I want to thank all of the hundreds of households that have participated in the household hazardous waste day over the years. You took the time to carefully collect your stuff and bring it to us for safe disposal or recycling. Then, you patiently waited in line to give your items to us. That’s impressive and I thank you!

Still have questions? Feel free to contact me at annad@wacotx.gov or (254) 299-2496. You can also contact Waco Solid Waste at (254) 299-2612. Thank you for doing the right thing to keep Waco clean and green!

Anna Dunbar is the Environmental Program Manager for the City of Waco Public Works. She is responsible for informing Waco residents and businesses about recycling and waste reduction opportunities as well as solid waste services in Waco. Her husband is a Baylor professor and her daughter is a Baylor University alum who works at Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. Anna is an active member of Keep Waco Beautiful and The Central Texas Audubon Society.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.