Give generously. There are people who need your help.
By Michael Turton
‘Tis the season to be jolly. And for most of us that is. But for some it may be anything but jolly. If you are down on your luck and in need of help, this can be the most difficult time of year. Most children experience the joy of discovering numerous gifts on Christmas morning, while less fortunate youngsters hope to find at least one package waiting for them. And while many of us revel in the bountiful feasts and parties of the holidays, others lack basic, nutritional food. Locally there are at least two easy ways to lend a helping hand to local residents in need – Toys for Tots and The Philipstown Food Pantry.
Toys for Tots is organized nationwide by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and collects new, unwrapped toys which are given to kids on Christmas. Former Cold Spring Mayor and ex-U.S. Marine Anthony Phillips is once again serving as local coordinator. Toys can be dropped off at numerous locations around town – including Pali’s Lunch Box in Nelsonville and McGuire’s on Main in Cold Spring. Phillips told Philipstown.info that young teenagers are also eligible to receive gifts but are often sadly overlooked. Gift cards can also be donated as gifts. The deadline for dropping off contributions is Dec. 20.
The Philipstown Food Pantry is operated year-round by the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown, located at 10 Academy St. in Cold Spring. Items can be dropped off there on Monday from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 – 11 a.m. Food is made available to those in need on Saturday mornings between 9 -10 a.m.
Many kinds of packaged and processed foods are needed. A partial list includes rice, pasta and spaghetti sauce; tea, coffee and hot chocolate; cake and dessert mixes; nuts, raisins and popcorn; chicken and beef broth; cereals and oatmeal; dry and canned beans; pancake mix and syrup and salad dressings. Personal hygiene products such as shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, laundry detergent and the like are also needed. A simple way to help is to donate your Foodtown points to the Food Pantry. Just ask your cashier as you are checking out.
Charities across the country report an increased need to help people this year due to continued high unemployment and the sluggish economy. The staff at Philipstown.info has unanimously pledged to support both Toys for Tots and the Philipstown Food Pantry this holiday season. We hope you will too.