Christmas is known as a giving season, and this Christmas, it’s approximated that over 2,000 families received assistance through the generosity of others.
Over 300 items were donated to the Andrew “Hollywood” Peck toy drive. The toy drive saw success in its first year, over 50 students from Wheelersburg Local Schools received toys and five families were given toys to distribute. According to Annette Peck, the organization will continue to receive donations year-round to provide for birthdays and next Christmas. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Annette Peck at 740-352-0339.
The ‘Fill the Cop Car’ day, hosted by Cash Express in Greenup filled the entire backseat of a Greenup County Police cruiser. Cash Express manager, Bridgette Lewis said that the items were distributed between two local pre-schools and food items were donated to Greenup County’s ‘Meals on Wheels,’ program.
Items donated to the Potter’s House Ministries in Sciotoville were given to 73 families. According to organizer, Anita Davis, over 3oo items were distributed to those in need. Please call 740-776-4004 or go online to www.jesusthenazarene.com where you can find the Potter’s House under the “Ministries” tab.
Over 200 toys were collected by Portsmouth Ambulance and Southern Ohio Medical Center’s (SOMC) Progressive Care Unit nurses. The toys were then given to non-profit organization, the Broken Need a Healing. On Dec. 17, The Broken Need a Healing distributed the items to those on the streets, under bridges, living in abandoned homes and parks. Items were also taken to the Portsmouth Homeless Shelter.
The Portsmouth Homeless Shelter helped to provide Christmas for 220 children this year, thanks to the help of individuals and organizations who collected on their behalf. According to Director, Maureen Cadogen, the toys were given to children who have been homeless within the past year. Each child received five-10 gifts, which included essential items like clothing and shoes. There are many needs that the Homeless Shelter meets throughout the year, if you would like to make a donation, please call 740-353-4085.
The Counseling Center provided Christmas gifts to 180 children this year through their “Secret Santa,” shopping list. Clients received a wish-list for their children, the children then filled out the list with one practical item like clothing, shoes or blankets and then listed toys that they wanted. The lists were then distributed to members of the community and other organizations.
Catholic Social Services distributed over 1,000 gifts to children and families. In a story published, Dec.21, Catholic Social Services Director, Barb McKenzie told the Daily Times that the need is growing. If you would like to make a donation or become involved with the program, please call 740-353-3185.
In a press release received Dec. 23, it was reported that Sierra’s Haven recently donated approximately 50 stuffed dogs and cats, purchased by local Petsmart customers, to Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Hospice. The gifts will be distributed to patients and family members by Hospice.
The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps. was able to provide gifts to 350 children and food baskets to 244 families. According to Lieutenant Jeremiah Eisley, they also served 1,038 hot meals this season.
A variety of groups collected items or volunteered including: Kroger of Portsmouth Employees, Knights of Columbus, East High School Key Club, Order of the Eastern Star, Portsmouth Fire Department, Cub Scouts Pack 37, Paramount Beauty Academy, Kiwanis Club of Portsmouth, Kiwanis Club of Lucasville, Shawnee State University Sororities, Early Education Development, Star Workshop, Valley High School, Rotaract and the CAPE Alternative School.
The Salvation Army works year round to provide support for those in need.
“Need knows no season,” said Eisley. “We could always use the financial support of the community. If someone comes to us in May with a need, sometimes we’re getting by on the skin of our teeth trying to make sure that need can be met. We’re hoping that people look far beyond Christmas when they consider making a donation.”
While Christmas is a time of great-need many of these organizations require year-round funding and donations to continue their operations. For more information, please contact the organization that you would like to make a donation to.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.