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Janet Brooks, chairman of children's gifts, front row third from left, with some of her wrappers. (Submitted photo)
Janet Brooks, chairman of children's gifts, front row third from left, with some of her wrappers. (Submitted photo)

Youngstown Community Baskets: Donations and volunteers help brighten Christmas for needy

Sat, Dec 22nd 2018 07:00 am

By Terry Duffy


The 2018 version of the Youngstown Community Baskets campaign proved to be a success for many, with scores of volunteers assisting and upward of 50 needy families served in the Youngstown and Porter areas.

An annual project of the Youngstown Civic Guild, member Beverly Roach said each year the campaign solicits monetary donations from throughout northern Niagara to purchase food for families and gifts for children. Dozens of individuals and groups – from local Boy and Girl Scouts to church organizations to village clubs and more – participated in the collection effort. That was followed by roughly 80 volunteers assisting in the weeklong food and gift organizing effort, with the end result being a much brighter Christmas for many.

Roach credited the work of chair Rita Rolfe for her organizing and helping make this annual campaign in the River Region community the success it was.

“There was really, really big help – from the Porter and Wilson areas, Youngstown and Porter people,” Roach said. “We had so many donations! Thanks to everyone who helped make our 2018 Youngstown/Porter Community Holiday Baskets a success.”

Special kudos went to Youngstown area Boy Scouts who spent a Sunday afternoon visiting residences throughout the village to collect donated canned goods and other nonperishables for the food project. Also, to Lewiston-Porter Junior Girl Scout Troop 70007 members for their hours of work and cookie decorating skills to help the community.”

“These girls have volunteered their time to decorate over 30 dozen cookies that have been donated to the Youngstown Civic Guild to use in their holiday community baskets,” Troop leader Melissa Sonntag said. “They are so proud of their community service and wanted to share their hard work with the community.

“The entire Youngstown-Porter Community Holiday Baskets committee would like to thank the many organizations, businesses, and individuals who donated their time and resources to make the holiday baskets complete for the needy families in our community. We especially appreciate the exceptional generosity of the DiMino family – Tops Market, Lewiston,” Roach said.

In particular, the Guild would like to acknowledge the following:

•Boy Scout Troop 829; Girl Scout Troop 70007; the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown Angel Tree; First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown deacons; First Presbyterian Church Youngstown Women’s Association; Lewiston-Porter Central School teachers, staff and students; Lewiston-Porter Elementary retired teachers and staff; Mickey and Grant Morris; and St. John’s Episcopal Church and knitters.

•Also, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church; Tom Towers’ Farm Market; U.S. Coast Guard – Youngstown Station Niagara; Village of Youngstown Board of Trustees; Youngstown Free Library; Youngstown Garden Club; Youngstown Lions Club; Youngstown Study Club; Youngstown Women’s Club; and the Youngstown Yacht Club.

Roach also credited this year’s successful campaign to the work of some dedicated Guild members: “Rita Rolfe, our very organized overall chairman (who) helped to coordinate it all; Janet Brooks and her helpers (who) again took charge of organizing and wrapping all of the over 80 children’s many gifts; Shawn D’Luhy and Christine Foster (who) shopped for all of the food; and John Rolfe (who) was the treasurer and also organized the pick-up and delivery of the food and the delivery of all the children’s gifts to each needy family.”

She said there were many generous individual monetary donors, plus others who donated clothing, toys and/or gift certificates for the needy children.

“Many local businesses not only donated money, but also had a box in their establishments for nonperishable food donations. There were many people who donated food, and an army of well over 80 volunteers who donated their time, many with strong backs and all with warm hearts, helping to make the holiday happier for many local families.”

Roach, Rita and John Rolfe and Youngstown Civic Guild members extend thanks to all in the community for helping make this Christmas so much brighter for the needy.


Lew-Port Junior Girl Scout Troop 70007 members have been hard at work baking and decorating cookies this holiday season. More than 30-dozen cookies were decorated and donated for the 2018 Youngstown Civic Guild’s Community Baskets campaign.

Treasurer John Rolfe, second from left, with some of the many volunteers.

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