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Helping those in crisis, one tamale at a time

Highland Lakes Crisis Network makes 6,000 tamales

The Highland Lakes Crisis Network volunteer team cooked 6,000 tamales Dec. 9-11 for a fundraiser. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

How do you make 6,000 tamales? Well, one at a time.

“We started, wow, Wednesday making them, rolling out the masa,” said Jordan Cornelius on Friday, Dec. 11, the final day of the Highland Lakes Crisis Network‘s tamale fundraiser. She had to pause a moment amid the cooking and packing of tamales to answer.

“This has been a community effort,” said lead tamale cook Angie Martinez. “So many people have come together to do God’s work through this.”

The Crisis Network announced the tamales fundraiser in November. All tamales were pre-ordered, so volunteers knew exactly how many they would need to make.

They just didn’t know how well-received the fundraiser would be.

Highland Lakes Crisis Network cook 6,000 tamales
Volunteers rolled, cooked, and wrapped 6,000 tamales for a Highland Lakes Crisis Network fundraiser. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

“We made 500 dozen tamales,” volunteer JoAnn McComack said. “And it wasn’t just us. The Highland Lakes Service League, they’ve been here helping.”

Volunteers began Wednesday, Dec. 9, putting in full days in the kitchen at First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls making the tamales (VIDEO). By Friday, they were cooking and packaging the tamales for pickup later that day.

All funds go to support the Highland Lakes Crisis Network’s efforts. The organization formed after the destructive October 2018 flood to help with longterm recovery efforts as well as provide spiritual and emotional support to survivors. Since then, the Crisis Network has expanded to assist in other disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last spring, volunteers began cooking, collecting, and disbursing about 160,000 meals to those affected by the pandemic. 

Highland Lakes Crisis Network cooks 6,000 tamales
Highland Lakes Crisis Network volunteer team member Jan Collins fills pots with tamales before they head to the stove. Crisis Network volunteers with help from the Highland Lakes Service League cooked 500 dozen tamales for a fundraiser. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

“God is in the middle of this,” Martinez said during a quick break between checking pots of tamales cooking on the stove to helping organize other tasks. “God gave me a heart to be his hands and feet. One of my gifts is cooking, and so I ask where he needs me and that’s what I do. It’s all to glorify him and help his children.”

While the tamales fundraiser is over, the Highland Lakes Crisis Network always welcomes financial support or volunteers. Visit its website to find out how to help or receive assistance.

“This has been amazing,” McComack said of the tamales fundraiser. “We made 6,000 tamales, and it’s all to help the community.”

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