While 2020 was a year of hardship, it also brought the best out of those who were able to help. And this year, our 2020 Toy Drive was unlike any before. But our community and partners in the industry really stepped up as holiday helpers. In fact, we had our most successful collection to date with more than $30,000 in donations!
With the restrictions in place, and for the safety of everyone involved, we took a different approach this year. Though we all missed our annual shopping trip to Walmart, we were able to put the funds to good use in our community with the help of philanthropic agencies.
We developed a Holiday Helper Fund with Commonwealth Charitable Management (CCM) to which contributors could donate directly. CCM dispersed the money to Interfaith of Susquehanna County, Interfaith Friends in Wyoming County and Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau. “There was great response to the program, and we were happy to be part of it,” said Melissa Turlip, CCM’s Director of Programming.
Holiday helpers including United Drilling, ATI Industries, Oil States Energy Services, Varsity Inc. and Susquehanna Services earmarked donations to Interfaith. RiP USA and a private donor focused their contributions on residents in need in Wyoming County.
“We have been blessed beyond measure. Forty percent of our donors were new this year,” Interfaith’s Executive Director, Cindy Beeman, told us. “We served almost 200 more families, many of which were multi-generational because of job loss due to the pandemic.”
All Interfaith clients received bags of food. Adults received quilts and an ornament for their trees, and children received several toys, winter wear and, as Beeman put it, “the joy of knowing people cared for them.”
Hartman & Hartman Inc., Franks International and Superior Energy Services donated toys that went to the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC). Students there coordinate a gift drive every year for families in need within their respective school districts.
It is so comforting to know that in the midst of so much uncertainty, we can still count on these many businesses and corporations to step up and help the growing number of families who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. We look forward to a holiday season when we can get together and return to a hands-on approach to putting toys under trees and food in families’ cupboards.