It’s important to remember that the Holiday season is about so much more than shopping for gifts and sipping on peppermint mochas. This time of year, the team at 171 Nissan likes to make an effort to remember those less fortunate who don’t have the same luxuries as us. During the Holiday season, it’s more important than ever to give back to children, veterans, and others who may be in need. Here are some ideas on giving back this Holiday.
Donate to a Cause
There are tons of reputable charities all over the country who can use your funds for a good cause. One option near 171 Nissan is CASA of West Central Louisiana. Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children are a group of community volunteers who work to find safe, loving, permanent solutions to children who are victims of abuse and neglect. Your donation this time of year could help a child have a special, memorable Holiday season.
If you don’t have money to give, you may instead have time, and volunteering can be just as meaningful and helpful to those in need. Local food pantries, such as God’s Food Box in DeRidder, Louisiana, are always looking for people to help serve those in need, especially during this time of year.
As the end of 2017 rapidly approaches, so begins the season of giving. Every year around the holidays, people come together and give back to their communities, donate to their favorite charities, and help out their loved ones. There are plenty of ways to give back, and while we at 171 Nissan celebrate all forms of giving, we want to share some information about a food bank that lies close to home and that you can donate to.
The Food Bank of Central Louisiana truly represents the spirit of giving. Located right here in Alexandria, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana relies upon the support of private donations in order to serve the community and help families in need. As a result, the Food Bank is able to serve over 22,400 people every month. With a mere $1 donation, the Food Bank can provide five meals to families, and the donation of canned goods furthers their mission of serving the hungry of Central Louisiana. In 2016 alone, they distributed over 6.9 million pounds of food to those in our community who are in need of food assistance.
There are three main ways to take part in the season of giving and help out the Food Bank of Central Louisiana: monetary donations, donating food (canned goods and other nonperishable food products, as well as fresh produce), and donating your time by volunteering at the food bank. For more information about how you can help, visit https://www.fbcenla.org/.[Top]
Do you like to get away from it all? Then be sure to check out one of these awesome campsites near DeRidder, Louisiana.
Back 40 Bow Park (DeRidder)
Located right here in DeRidder, Back 40 Bow has RV spots, tent camping, and cabins. Spots for hiking and swimming supply plenty of outdoor recreation for campers, too, and it’s located in close proximity to Sam Houston Jones State Park.
Longville Lake Park (Longville)
With the lake nearby, you can enjoy a weekend of boating, swimming, and fishing. Longville additionally has RV hookups and tent sites. Plus, there’s a spot to go golfing nearby, so you can make sure you’re never bored.
Juddie Clairs (Ragley)
Set up a tent and bring a sleeping back to Juddie Clairs for a weekend away in the wilderness, where you can fish, swim, and play golf at a location managed by pleasant local groundskeepers.
Enduro Trailhead (Sugartown)
There’s nothing quite like a trip to Enduro Trailhead, featuring activities like horseback riding and offering picnic and barbecue areas. Campfires are permitted here, as well as staying in the onsite cabins and going fishing.
Take a truck or SUV like the 2017 Nissan Titan or Nissan Rogue to one of these campsites near DeRidder. Their power and capability will allow you to easily navigate off the beaten path. Come check them out today at 171 Nissan.
Image by R.E. Barber Photography[Top]
Sometimes, it really pays off to step away from the stress or mundane atmosphere of a normal routine and get a breath of fresh air in nature. Since 171 Nissan is so close to the surrounding area, we like to take regular hikes in one of these two favorite hiking places near Alexandria, LA. Once you’re there, you will be amazed at what a little time away can do for you.
Kisatchie National Forest
This national forest is located right next to Alexandria, LA. You can drive out to a variety of trailheads when you take a capable and maneuverable vehicle like the Nissan Rogue as your transportation. Bring camping gear and set up for the night, or use your Nissan Rogue to travel off-road until you find the perfect picnic location.
Sabine National Forest
West of Kisatchie, you’ll find another national forest. Sabine National Forest is actually just across the Texas border, and it’s a bit of a drive from Alexandria. However, the Nissan Rogue has plenty of entertainment technology to keep you occupied on the drive. Once you’re there, you can go backpacking or choose from a number of long trails for a day hike in this breathtaking forest.
Photo by Justin Meissen[Top]
If you or someone you know if preparing to move up from high school to college and you live in the Lake Charles area, here’s some of the best Louisiana colleges to attend near us.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
A number of academic benefits and innovative SMART classrooms await you at one of the best colleges in Louisiana, which offers over 80 degree programs and counseling services for first-generation college students.
McNeese State University
One of McNeese State’s main draws is that it’s one of few universities that house a farm on campus – with over 1,400 acres of land dedicated to agriculture and research. Also, newly-admitted students can attend “Cowboy Camp,” a special and exclusive orientation.
If you’re looking for a Christian private school, head to Louisiana College. There are various degree programs, an on-campus chapel, spiritual programs, and accreditation through professional organizations.
Louisiana State University in Alexandria
This branch campus in Alexandria offers 13 bachelor’s degree programs as well as benefits like varsity rodeo and rugby teams and an undergraduate academic journal. Check out the exclusive Honors Program, too.
Some of the best Louisiana colleges are near us right here in the Lake Charles and Alexandria area. If you want to stay close to home, schedule a tour for one of these schools today.
Photo by Gkarg[Top]
When it comes to helping save homeless animals and improving their health and welfare, no one does more than the Animal Rescue Foundation of Louisiana (ARFLA). ARFLA’s effects can be seen across the state, including here in DeRidder.
ARFLA is a non-profit organization that strives to protect the animals around Louisiana who can’t protect themselves. Their physical shelter is located in Lafayette, but they frequently have adoption and fundraising events in other parts of the state. They rescue animals through a variety of sources, including picking up abandoned animals, rescuing dogs from high kill shelters, taking animals from people who cannot keep their pets, and taking litters of puppies in when the owners agree to have the mother spayed.
If you’re looking to add a new furry friend to your family, please consider choosing ARFLA as your pet adoption center. Every animal available for adoption has been fully vetted and temperament tested before being eligible for placement. In addition, all animals receive the necessary veterinarian care, including vaccinations, de-worming, spaying or neutering, microchipping, heartworm testing and treatment, necessary surgeries, and, of course, love and care.
To adopt a dog from ARFLA, you first need to fill out the adoption application. You can also help by donating needed supplies or donating money to the shelter.[Top]
The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to the community. That’s why we’ve written a post on local food pantries, listing some of the great organizations that work to help those in need in the area. There are many Deridder food pantries that can use donations and volunteers this time of year, so volunteer your time today.
According to FoodPantries.org, one of the top food pantries in the area is God’s Food Box. Collecting and distributing food for those in need is this organization’s main goal. You can help by giving time, money, or food. Contact Boca Helping Hands if you would like to volunteer here over the holidays.
The Beauregard Community Action Association also provides support in the Deridder area. This location is for low-income families and individuals, providing USDA commodities, Medicaid, emergency shelter, community housing development, and more. Open from 8am to 4pm, you can call for more information.
Located a short drive away, the Vernon Community Action Council also helps those in need in the area. This non-profit social service agency can help low-income families, the homeless, the crisis-stricken, and more. Providing emergency assistance, crisis intervention, clothing, food, medical transport, and budget management among other things, the Vernon Community Action Council is glad to take donations and support. For more information, feel free to reach out to us at 171 Nissan! We would be glad to help![Top]
In today’s world, many of us have our cell phones with us at all times. We can’t imagine leaving the house without it and it can be really hard to ignore all of the bells and whistles that work to get our attention throughout the day. But, there is one place where it is imperative to completely ignore your phone—in your car.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and we want to talk about how there is more to distracted driving than just texting. While texting is perhaps one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel, talking on your phone, even with a hands-free device, can be just as risky.
While you might think using Bluetooth to connect your phone so you don’t have to use your hands is a safer way to talk or text, it isn’t. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drivers talking on their phones, with or without using their hands, are four times as likely to be involved in an accident. And, the NSC estimates that 21% of all accidents in the United States involve a driver who was talking on his or her cell phone.
Both driving and holding a conversation are thinking tasks. Because of this, your brain cannot simultaneously focus on both at the same time and actually rapidly switches between the two activities. This can cause drivers to miss up to 50% of their driving environments.
Now, this does not mean you can’t hold a conversation while you drive. It simply means if you want to talk to someone they have to be in the car with you. An adult passenger in the car can give drivers an extra set of eyes and can adjust their talking when driving gets difficult and can even help point out potential road hazards. A person on the other end of a cell phone can’t do any of these things.
If you want to drive distraction free, you can sign this online pledge to take back your drive and promise to not text, have conversations, or do anything else on your phone while driving. Let us know if you are taking the pledge to bring awareness about distracted driving at 171 Nissan![Top]
The autumn season brings many wonderful things, including football, pumpkins, delicious food, changing scenery, and of course festivals. Here are a few fall festivals near DeRidder, Louisiana that you should add to your calendar.
- Beauregard Parish Fair. From October 6th through the 10th, head to the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds for some family fun. This fair is known as the oldest running agricultural fair in the state. Check out all the livestock, eat some delicious fair food, listen to some great live music, and climb aboard some thrilling rides. Admission is only $5 per person and all military members and their families can get in for free with proper ID.
- Ragley Heritage and Timber Festival. On October 17th in nearby Ragley, you can learn all about the pioneers who settled this area. There will be a kids parade, live music, face painting, food, and so much more.
- Four Winds Pow Wow. This annual Native American event will be held October 24th through the 25th at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds and is a great opportunity to learn about and experience the culture of Louisiana’s Native American tribes.
- LA Swine Festival. If you want to experience all things pig, head to this festival in nearby Basile October 31st through November 2nd. This fun, family-friendly event includes delicious pork products, a pig-chasing contest, live music, a carnival, and more.
What is your favorite fall festival here in Louisiana?[Top]
Louisiana is one of the best places in the country for food. Here, you can find delightful dishes that you can’t find anywhere else in the country, especially since no grocery store imitations can quite match the original! Here is a list of delicious delicacies from Louisiana:
This is one fun dish. The name itself is even fun to say! Jambalaya is traditionally a combination of shrimp, sausage, and chicken, mixed in with long-grain rice. Simmered for a long period of time with tons of spices, it’s the perfect treat if you truly want to experience Cajun culture.
Another rice-based dish, gumbo is steamed with okra and dark stock. Seafood gumbo comes with shrimp. For land-lovers, you can’t go wrong with chicken and sausage gumbo! Regardless of the meat included in gumbo, you can’t go wrong with this tasty treat.
For Louisiana food on the run, the best sandwich around is a Po-Boy. The signature ingredient of this dish is long French-style bread. From there, fill it with your favorite meat, though typically they are filled with shrimp. Add some remoulade sauce, and you have a delightful meal right in your hands!
After a hearty Southern feast, beignets are the perfect desert. Pillow-y pieces of dough are showered with powdered sugar to create the best way to cap off a Louisiana-style meal!
Do you have a favorite Louisiana treat? Share it with us at 171 Nissan below![Top]