Cooler days and the arrival of Halloween can mean many things. At HELP of Fort Meade, it means gearing up for their busiest two months of the season.
The local agency is already hard at work getting ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, when it helps hundreds of local people with meals and gift giving.
“The community’s support has never been more appreciated or needed,” noted Executive Director Aisha Wright. “More people need help and fewer people are able to give.”
HELP is hoping for both monetary donations, as well as gift items and food.
Wright noted that $40 can cover the cost of one child in need. This year, they are particularly seeking help in asking for gifts for those ages 12 to 16.
“Usually the gifts are targeted for the younger age group,” Wright noted. Those will still be collected and distributed, but often items for younger teenagers are harder to come by.
Those wishing to put together a full holiday meal are also encouraged to do so.
That would include two cans of green beans, a can of jellied cranberry sauce, two boxes of Jiffy mix, a large bag of white or yellow rice, one can of Carnation canned milk, two cans of yams, two cans of fruit, two bags or boxes of stuffing mix, one cake mix and icing, and $15 for the purchase of meat.
“If you schedule does not permit time to shop for the items listed, a donation of $35 will cover an entire holiday dinner, including meat, for one family,” Wright added.
She said that donations intended to be used to help at Thanksgiving should be at the center by Nov. 14, and Christmas donations should be dropped off byby Dec. 12.
“Never let it be said that you can’t make a difference,” Wright said.
For more information, contact the center at 863-285-6600.
Wright said HELP had also received a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland, and will be accepting applications for Thanksgiving help on Nov. 5 and 6.