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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Carlisa, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Emergency Assistance, Human Services

Mission: Carlisa Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit food organization that’s been feeding the hungry and needy in America from 2002. Lisa Eleze Thomas Mc-Millan, founder of Carlisa Inc. was personally a victim of hunger all through her student life and knew how divine it felt like when one shared their food and blessings with another. And it was 1995 when she vowed to herself that ‘nobody should ever have to worry about having enough to eat’ thereafter. Lisa started her community service in her hometown Brewton, Al by preparing and delivering hot lunches for the elderly and the disabled. As she became more aware of the hunger crisis that prevailed in society, she also started a Rolling Grocery Store on her van and delivered essential groceries and vegetables to people who couldn’t afford them. She also started offering a free feeding program in her restaurant and started Brewton’s first Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day dinners. Then came into existence, Carlisa Inc. in 2002, a non-profit food bank, in fact Brewton’s first food bank to be open to the public seven days a week. Along with feeding the seniors and disabled citizens of Brewton, Carlisa Inc. also provides hot lunches for students and the community by providing hot meals in Carlisa's ministry restaurant Drexell and Honeybee's Donations Only Restaurant at 109 Lee Street Street where all are welcome to come in and enjoy a home cooked meal.

Results: Carlisa, Inc. and it's ministry restaurant Drexell and Honeybee's Donations Only Restaurant have made an amazing impact in our community. After only one year of being open we served over 12. 000 hot meals in our community.

Target demographics: Make sure no one goes hungry in our community.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 53 elderly people, over 100 college students and hundreds of people in our community.

Geographic areas served: Brewton, AL and all surrounding small towns.

Programs: Drexell and Honeybee's Donations Only Restaurant...Hot meals program...and hot meals delivery program.

Community Stories

49 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Marie Neese H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We all hear and appreciate "service with a smile." Carlisa, Inc. is "giving with a smile," and with heart, and with love, and with commitment to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25:35 "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me in." All are welcome. A variety of delicious food is prepared for anyone who is hungry, and as available, with local, in-season fruits and vegetables. This "Donations Only" restaurant does not accept payment for a meal, but a private area is available for anyone who would like to make a donation. Donations "pay it forward" to prepare the next meal for someone who is hungry. Through planning, sacrificing, and many hours of labor, sweat, and tears an empty building in the community was purchased, renovated, and decorated to become the pleasant, welcoming place it is today to prepare and serve meals to the hungry. Carlisa, Inc. is a blessing to the community, and many volunteers assist. You will see different friendly, caring faces each day. Come and enjoy a meal and see service to God and to man in action!

1 Dave W.4

Donor

Rating: 5

I saw this story on Facebook and just had to find them on the map. So I called and Lisa answered that we had a fun chat last night . I drive truck cross country and looked forward to routing myself towards their little restaurant and trying out some a that good food. To all involved in feeding your local families I say keep it up you guys are awesome.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I read about Lisa and her husband’s commitment to feed those in need. They utilize their social security and military retirement in order to feed others. I found their story so inspiring because they give even when it seems unachievable. It is one thing to give when it’s easy. It’s entirely another thing to give when it seems impossible. This is the definition of faith and kindness. Thank you for restoring my faith in others.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Their generosity overflows everyday. As if feeding people in need wasn't enough, they do random acts of kindness all of the time if not daily. One small act can completely change someone's day. The level they operate on can and I'm sure has, changed people's lives. They deserve world wide recognition for their kindness and I hope they get it.

Oh how could I nearly forget the food!?! The food and atmosphere is like going to Granny's house on Thanksgiving and Christmas on a daily basis. Great country, home cooked meals, and you won't meet a stranger there.

Carolyn111

Client Served

Rating: 4

I eat, visit, or volunteer at Drexell and Honeybees about once a week. The vision of Lisa and Freddie McMillan is to stop food insecurity. They have created a loving environment where the community, young and old, rich and poor, can come together and enjoy a meal. The food is made from fresh fruits and vegetables and is absolutely amazing. The items are donated and different every day. The signature cornbread is one of my favorites,. This is a donation only restaurant, you pay what you can. I know my donation will help pay it forward for someone else’s meal. I have made so many new friends that I may never have met but have seen around town. I am forever grateful for this change I have witnessed in our community. The elderly and lonely come and eat with college students and families, business people in suits as well as those in uniforms. We share a meal and a donation or thank you note, Drexell and Honeybees is feeding our souls.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carlisa, Inc. is a non profit organization with many missions. In fact, "We feed the Need" is their mission statement. They are involved in many different projects in our community. Their ability to act quickly was put to the test recently when the towns of Flomaton, AL and Century , FL were hit by a devastating tornado. I knew Carlisa, Inc. had the experience to help and was so glad they could provide hot meals to the victims of this horrible storm. This nonprofit is a very productive part of our community and has been for several years.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is a vital element in this community. It provides many resources to so many people. Carlisa, Inc. and Drexell and Honeybee's Donations Only Restaurant (a ministry of Carlisa, Inc.)has made hot meals and food easily accessible to all who need it.

Jacquelyn Caswell G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This restaurant is a dream that Lisa fulfilled through determination and hard work. Her joy in life is to fill the needs of those who are hungry in our community. Lisa loves our veterans, too, and recognizes them every year with a hot meal. She has an open door policy to all and aims to please you with a satisfying meal. A great place to mingle and make new friends! Check out Drexell & Honeybee's! You'll be glad you did!

Kim Harrison F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lisa has been serving hot meals to the local college students and the elderly for years. She has an amazing heart and will do what she can to help someone in need. Please donate to her cause or contact her and volunteer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carlisa (Lisa) has had a consistent heart for feeding students, the elderly and the hunger for years. Drexel and Honeybees is an attractive restaurant that serves the community of Brewton, mainly the underserved. Every offering is delicious! Meatloaf is a favorite!
Paul and Janice Smith

1 Janie C.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first real experience with was last Christmas as she delivered the most wonderful Christmas dinner that I ordered for my Sunday School Class, she brought it to the church, sit it up & would’ve served but we were eating a little later&when we did eat, the food was still hot, delicious and plenty of it. Think everyone took a take out plate home. I’ve ate at the restaurant several times & always a great selection, food good, people friendly and most of all, clean. I always leave a bigger donation than what I eat as I live that it helps Lisa to feed those that can’t afford a meal or on the down at the moment. If you’ve not ate at Drexell & Honeybees, you’re missing out on some good country southern cooking

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am known Lisa Thomas McMillan for many years. I really got to know her when she served free lunches to students at the local Community College. I volunteered to help serve the local community during her annual
Thanksgiving & Christmas luncheons and was honored to serve others along side such a caring, compassionate, and loving person.

Once I read her book; I was inspired by her acts of kindness and love of the elderly to serve free lunches. I would prepare and deliver hot meals to ten elderly or disable persons in my community one day a week for the entire year of 2015.

I was able to help others and I felt great doing so; all because I was inspired by Lisa Thomas McMillan. It was a great opportunity for me to teach my son about giving and not expecting anything but a smile in return. Today, he knows and understands the importance of giving and helping others. He started volunteering with Carlisa Inc at a very young age and loves to help her whenever he can do so. He has adopted her as his "Aunt Lisa".

It has been my pleasure to help such a caring person and I have enjoyed working with her.

Delinda

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lisa fulfills her mission the “Feed the need”! The food served at Drexell and Honeybees is second to none. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a great meal in a comfortable atmosphere, regardless of their ability to pay. Their presence contributes so much to our community.

William F K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This Restaurant does a good thing for the community.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Carlisa, Inc. works hard with long hours to see that the town I live in has a hot meal to eat, even if you do not have any money. The restaurant is always clean and in order. The food is always great.
Carlisa arrives at work early to make sure the food is ready when the doors open.
I love this place and tell friends and family about it all the time. Carlisa is one of the hardest working women I know, I admire her for her hard work and giving nature.

1 Bobi McWhorter R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a wonderful community outreach Carlisa is working toward . No one should ever go hungry and she is working toward making sure !!

1 Lynn Thomas H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Drexell and Honeybees is such a blessing for our rural community. The love, devotion and great food is enjoyed by so many!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love the place. You can eat a hot 5 star meal.even if you don't have money to pay.

1 Writer

Donor

Rating: 5

Lisa is a modern day Mother Teresa who gives her heart & soul in the food she prepares & serves. She believes that everyone should have access to a Hot Meal every day & that’s what she does....there is no finer individual who is selfless in her service to the community by providing a wonderful place for folks to dine that is affordable to everybody. (There is a partitioned area that you can pay if you can afford it, if you don’t have any funds, that’s okay, just write a note and say thank you!) we all need a little bit of someone like Lisa in our lives.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

The book Living Fulfilled has changed my life.....it has opened my eyes to love and hope. The author takes you on an inspirational journey that shows just how one ordinary individual can help change the world. It also teaches you how to pay it forward. It's a perfect gift too!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carlisa, Inc. fights hunger in more ways than just providing hot meals to those less fortunate. They provide hope and joy to souls who suffer the emotional hunger pangs of those who may feel they have been overlooked by the rest of the world. Through random acts of kindness, a helping hand, words of encouragement, and ever-ready smile, they inspire others around them to reach out and lift each other up in a world that is often quick to put others down.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great place to eat at a reasonable price. Also Mrs. Lisa has been serving the community by providing meals to the needy not only during holidays but often.

Emily135

Client Served

Rating: 5

Miss Lisa gives to the community more than one could imagine. Between her food pantry, feeding college students, and everything in between, she goes above and beyond the call of duty to help those who need it, and she does it deliciously. As a broke full-time college student with a full-time job, I can honestly say there are days when I would have just had to go without food between classes and before work, that is, had it not been for Miss Lisa. She is a blessing to the community, and every single thing she does is for a good cause. It amazes me every day the drive that she has, and I just cannot say enough good things about her and her cause.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lisa McMillian, aka Carlisa, Inc.,is one of the most selfless people that I know or know of. She is all about helping others, whether it be feeding college students for free (our local community college doesn't have a cafeteria, so she makes sure that every student who wants a meal gets one on Monday thru Wednesday), to providing meals for the elderly or needy (and often delivering it to them), to providing transportation to doctor visits, etc, and often provides money to those in need. It doesn't stop here--she provides "holiday" meals to anyone in the community who would like them: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and even honors the veterans on Veteran's Day. She is such a service to our community, a real blessing, and all from the kindness of her heart. Thanks, Carlisa!!!

1 Keri7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2014 my mother passed away. I was able to be with her but I had missed a bit of work but was able to take my vacation as an emergency. A few months later my father became gravely ill and I wanted to spend some time with him. My father lived in Kentucky and that was a great distance from me I also had to take some more time off he passed away and we had his funeral then I came back to brewton and went back to work. Ms. Lisa called me over to see her at her table at my job at the huddle house and asked me how I was doing. I told her I'm holding up and I'll be ok and that my daddy was my favorite person and I miss him. She handed me a check to help me out I was so stunned I told her I couldn't take it and didn't need it that someone else could use it and she said please Keri take it this is what I do and what I work for so I took it and hugged her. I went in the back room at work and cried. This isn't the first time she's done things like this during Christmas time she would come in and call each of us over and give us gift cards or checks as presents but she knew each person there had a story and had either not much help from anyone or had big families like mine. She has been a blessing to each person she has helped. She does not stop there she has a little kitchen she help feeds college students and also helps feed people who don't have families around the holidays and she cooks quite a bit and invites people from all over the areas to come eat for Christmas and thanksgiving. Lisa at Carlisa inc has helped many many people me included over the years and I've also read her book and she says it's her calling and her passion to help those who need the help or just give someone something to look forward too also she knows some people just have nothing at all and she wants to make sure some people who have nothing has a little something! Lisa is a blessing and and someone who I've come to know love appreciate and confide in over the years! She is compassionate about helping boost people's lives it's what makes her happy! So if you could donate or if you truly can't donate pass this along and help Carlisa inc raise money to help feed the hungry and help support her work she does this from the kindness of her heart and started out helping people with nothing and she does not use these funds to support her self she works and works hard! Please help and donate today. I have donated to Carlisa inc and have felt good about it and I will donate again even if it's a dollar or fifty cents we can all help feed the hungry.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am. Very proud of Carlisa Inc. Lisa does outstanding job looking out for the Community. On holidays she provide free dinners to the seniors and the needy.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This organization helps people in my community that falls into the cracks left by other aid organizations. there is a great need that is not met because people can't always go to register for help they need. this non profit seeks them out and serves them in a way that's transparent and dignified.thank GOD for them.

Melvin Davis

1 Ola B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Carlisa food service is vital to the city of Brewton, you can pick up a meal for minimal cost or you can eat free as a student. Of great importance, is our senior citizens lacking transportation to pick up lunch. volunteers for Carlisa answers their need, and for this they are grateful. Thank you Lisa for your service to this great community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was undergoing treatment for cancer. I had to travel out of town. I was having trouble paying for gas. Carolina, Inc stepped in and help pay for gas. What a blessing.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Mrs Lisa McMillian is a blessing to the local college in her community. Once she heard about students not having food to eat, she stepped in and began serving free lunch to all college students. For some, this was the only meal they ate that day. Also she had snacks available for them to take back to the dorm for an evening snack. What an asset to her community. We need note people like Mrs Lisa. Everything is free to those in need. Thanks Carlisa Inc

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Carlisa is one of those charities that notices what a community needs and simply steps in to fill that need. She does not see challenges; she sees possibilities. She finds a way to feed those who are hungry because her whole heart is in her work. And for those people in crisis she also researches other ways she can be of assistance. She is also a great speaker. She spoke to a group of elementary school in a summer program and she was inspirational. More than that though, she spoke on their level and she made them understand that we are all expected to help others. We are so lucky to have this organization as a part of our community

2 Anita McCreary J.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Carlisa Food Bank Inc., is truly an awesome nonprofit organization. I am an employee of our local community college and I know first hand that Carlisa provides FREE meals to our students every Monday - Wednesday each week that classes are in session. She wants to ensure that not one student goes hungry on our campus. Although some of our students, especially athletes, live in the dorms we do not have a lunch/cafeteria program. It is Carlisa that provides free meals to our students.

No only does Carlisa provide our students with free meals, she also provide the elderly in our community with free meals. Carlisa has a passion for ensuring that no one goes hungry in our community (and around the world for that matter!).

I am thankful for having an organization such as Carlisa Food Bank in our community to help those in need!

2 Jennifer530

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lisa McMillan is truly a wonderful asset to our community. As the owner of Carlisa, Inc., she feeds the elderly, feeds students at the local community college and provides Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner for the community...for free! She is a blessing to all that are touched by her.

2 Samantha78

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about Mrs. Lisa at Carlisa Inc., she has an amazing heart and spirit for the work that she does. She not only helps those in need but she is overjoyed to be able to do it. I started working with Lisa over 17 years ago and have never had a call for help not answered. No matter what the need she filled it in with every means she had.

I am a licensed insurance agent and I work mostly with the elderly a great many of my clients are low income and are in need of basic necessities such as food. Never a moment has went by that I couldn't call Carlisa Inc. so that I could feed those elderly who were choosing between food and medicine and it is definitely a real struggle for some. What a joy I have to know Mrs. Lisa and know that Carlisa Inc. will be there.

The donations provided to her really do make it out into the community and you know the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" It takes that same village to help those truly in need of the services of Carlisa, Inc. Give with joy, happiness and certainty that anyone who donates and continues to donate can rest assured it's being used for the purpose it's meant for.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jack and I am a proud receiver of the Carlisa Inc. I have been receiving meals from this nonprofit for quite a while and the food is always delicious. Once I could not pay my electric bill and this nonprofit was able to assist me. The Carlisa Inc. is a great nonprofit for this community. Thank you for your help

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Dee and I have had the opportunity to witness this non profit group from afar and up close. Afar, because once I first heard of Carlisa Inc. I was interested in learning more about this non profit. So, what did I do; I volunteered and that experience has given me nothing but joy. The people that they assist are so appreciative of Carlisa Inc. Just to be one of the volunteers to help serve meals has now inspired me to do more for my community. My experience as a volunteer with Carlisa Inc. has inspired me to prepare meals on weekends for 10 individuals in my community which consist of a disabled veteran, senior citizens, and two disabled individuals. I get so much pleasure when I prepare and deliver their meals to them. My son has gotten a kick out of taking their meals as well. Carlisa Inc. has helped me to show my son how to share with others. We are cheerful givers and are blessed to know the fine people at Carlisa Inc. This non profit is a great asset to our community and surrounding area. Thanks Carlisa Inc. for allow us to volunteer with your non profit organization because it has been a life changing experience. We appreciate you all so much and will always be ready to help you serve others.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lisa Thomas McMillan has done a remarkable job with her nonprofit organization. She manages to feed large numbers of students and community members on a bare-bones budget. She is visionary, hard-working, and committed to making sure people don't go hungry. Kudos to Lisa McMillan for a job well done!!!

2 Chicquita C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lisa McMillan is the kindness most giving person I know. A friend of mine that resently lost her job due to illness was unable to pay her electrical bill or provide Christmas gifts for her family. Lisa was kind enough to pay her bill and give her money to buy her kids Christmas gifts. It was a Christmas she will always remember. Lisa is a God send.
B. Willis

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Carlisa, Inc. is more than a non-profit food organization. It is a calling placed upon the heart of Lisa Thomas-McMillan. She and her volunteers answer God's call every day as they plan, prepare and feed our community. This ministry not only provides food, but it also serves a whole lot of love!! Love that gives to the needy and stirs the hearts of others to give of themselves, too!! My prayer is that Carlisa, Inc. will continue to prosper and grow and impact the lives of even more people who need the special touch of love and compassion provided by Lisa and her family of volunteers!! Keep up the good work!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a college student, money can be a problem in ones life at times. The Carisa, Inc. is an incredible blessing in my life and truly helps my parents out. Mrs. Lisa and Ms. Gloria have been a tremendous blessing to me and many, many people before me. I have never met two of the nicest ladies that are so giving to others. Attending Jefferson Davis, giving this incorporation thirty dollars for a semester, being able to have lunch everyday is not the only good thing these ladies do. Through them serving others and putting together food for the students at JDCC and the people of Brewton, many people see how giving these ladies are. Personally they have taught me so many things about having a giving heart and putting others first. I am so thankful I know these ladies and how much they mean to me. Donating to this incorporation is definitely worth it. You will learn many things, and if you put aside the food for a second and see how hard these ladies work, it makes you want to provide for others. Giving is the big picture here and anybody that know, Mrs. Lisa and Ms. Gloria are immediately impacted for the better.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carlisa, Inc. is a God-send for people in Brewton and in surrounding communities. I know of a young man who was from Brewton, but who had moved to Illinois. He was struggling to make it there and was not able to buy groceries at the time. He reached out to his family back home, but they could not help him. Lisa heard about his situation and sent him a gift card to buy groceries. He sent his family a picture of his full refrigerator and was very grateful for the help.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carlisa, Inc is truly an outstanding charity that helps feed the hungry and needy of our area. Lisa Thomas McMillan who started Carlisa is truly a blessing to our community. Without her tireless work many people would suffer. Mayor Yank Lovelace

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lisa Thomas McMillan is truly a blessing. She goes above and beyond everyday and she expects nothing in return. She prepares food for the elderly in the community and she also feeds the student at JDCC for free. She is one of a kind.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered to help at Carlisa, Inc. I helped her service the college students that she provides free meals for 3 days a week during the semester. It was an eye opening experience to see the impact she has by providing meals and the appreciation the students have for her and her services.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I started a new job and had not received my paycheck yet. I contacted Carlisa, Inc. She gave me a gift card to a local grocery store so I could afford to eat until I got paid. Thank you so much.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When the rain washed part of my driveway away I contacted Carlisa, Inc. She didn't have the tractor to do the job, but her willingness to help is so strong she borrowed the tractor and completed the job free of charge. She is such a blessing to the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Carlisa is an excellent non-profit organization. I first became acquainted with Lisa McMillan in 2002, when I did volunteer work and called upon when needed. She not only provides food for thousands, but helps in any way that she can to provide other services. She is not just a manager, but a hard working person. She devotes so much time and love to any project that she is a part of in this community.

Spike M.

Donor

Rating: 5

The head of Carlisa, Lisa Thomas McMillan, has a heart for people. She views the work of her non-profit organization as a Christian ministry, and as such, she becomes the helping hand of Christ as she seeks to help feed the hungry!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carlisa definitely does an amazing work in helping people around! It was a pleasure to read the book "Living Fulfilled" to find out more about the history of this project.

By reading the book I did learn a lot about how I can help people I around me.