Donations, volunteer help now being sought
By Terry Duffy
While Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, planning for the Christmas season is already moving ahead in Youngstown.
The annual Youngstown/Town of Porter Christmas Baskets Program seeks assistance from the community. Held each year in Youngstown/Porter, the campaign relies on the work of scores of volunteers with one goal: To help brighten the holidays for the needy.
Volunteer Beverly Roach said, “The Town of Porter Christmas Basket Program will once again be serving those in need in our community. We know that you have supported this program in the past and are asking that you do so once more. Last year, your generosity helped 66 families, including 126 children. We will once again be providing gifts for children and gift cards for groceries or gas for each family. We plan to use much of your donated money for food and gasoline gift cards.”
Rita Rolfe, who serves as co-chair of this campaign, said the project typically sees the involvement of many from the community, including the Youngstown Civic Guild, the Village of Youngstown, the Youngstown Lions, Boy Scout Troop 829, Lewiston-Porter teachers, Youngstown Coast Guard Station Niagara, plus businesses and a number of residents.
“The Youngstown/ Town of Porter Christmas Basket Program is truly a total community endeavor,” she said. “It features the very best of the caring residents of our area. It is heart-warming to witness the outstanding generosity and cooperation of so many.”
There are a variety of ways the community can join in this project:
•Make a cash donation for gift cards and children’s gifts. Make checks payable to the Youngstown Civic Guild, and mail to 337 Riverview Drive, Youngstown, NY 14174.
•Donate cards from Tops, ALDI, Wal-Mart or a gas station. Show the monetary amount of the gift in the card. Mail to the above address or drop off at the Village of Youngstown office.
•Be an angel. Provide a gift card for a child. Those who have not provided gifts previously can contact Janet Brooks at 716-425-0952 or email [email protected] to get on the list. Previous angels are being contacted in early November.
•Contribute to the Boy Scout food drive on Sunday, Dec. 11. Place nonperishable food bags on the porch or by the mailbox before 9 a.m. Food may also be left in food boxes in many Youngstown businesses or at the Youngstown Free Library by Dec. 13. Another option is to bring food to the Youngstown Red Brick Village Center between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. during the week of Dec. 12.
•Volunteer and come to the Red Brick Village Center gym between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 12-15 to prepare gifts for delivery, or from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, to package food. Contact Brooks at 716-425-0952 or Rolfe at 716-998-2809 to volunteer.
•Deliver baskets at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Call or text Colleen Johnson Summerville at 716-531-6701.
Roach said families in need, who live in the Town of Porter, including the Village of Youngstown and hamlet of Ransomville, may call and leave their phone number at the Village of Youngstown office at 716-745-7721 by Dec. 9.
“We will return the call and register them for food and/or children’s gifts,” she said. “Thanks for joining us in spreading the true spirit of the season.”