Thanksgiving, almost upon us, will give way to Halloween. From there, it’s an all-too-quick dash to Christmas. Food will play a big part in all of that – even if the All Hallows’ Eve variety is of the less-healthy kind – and most of us will take it for granted.
That’s not the case for many, with the holiday season bringing increased demand for the services of food banks and other charity groups. It’s no coincidence that now is the time such organizations step up food drives and similar fundraising efforts.
You can count the Elmira Lions Club among those stepping up to help. The organization is right now gearing up for a bottle drive fundraiser in support of the Woolwich Community Services (WCS) Christmas hamper program.
The event is scheduled for October 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Lions Hall in Elmira (40 South St. W.), the club is hoping residents will come out and support the cause in a year when they have had to cancel so many of their usual fundraisers.
“Because of COVID, we’ve had some major fundraisers that we couldn’t go ahead with, and one is our weekly bingo… we used to raise about $30,000 every year in the bingo. And things such as the syrup festival of course [was cancelled] – our booth was cancelled there, and that’s about $6,000. We [also] have a golf tournament in May and we couldn’t run that [along with] a few other events, so we decided we had to come up with something good to help people in the community,” said club member Bert Martin. “We always supported the Christmas hamper program for the Woolwich Community Services, and this is one way we thought we could help raise some cash for it so that they could go and do some shopping – whatever they need to do to support that particular program.”
The annual program run by WCS sees a collection of items such as toiletries, toys, hats, mittens and gift cards collected and then given out to families in need of a hand at the holidays.
Martin says he has no expectations for the drive but hopes to collect as many bottles as possible to help WCS, calling on community members to support each other, whether it is by donating to fundraisers or any other means.