Need for Lighthouse Toy Drive expected to hit all-time high in 2014
by Teresa LeNeave
The number of hungry people in Ballard County is continuing to climb and as the holidays approach it is expected to rise even higher. During the month of October the Lighthouse Community Food Bank, located at Full Gospel Temple in Wickliffe, provided food for 225 low-income families. That equates to approximately 900 people if there are only four in the family. Often there are more.
Frank and Chestine Cage, Lighthouse Community Food Bank directors, said, "In the past four years since the Food Bank opened its doors for the first time, the need for food has continued to increase as well as our client numbers. The need for food assistance in our county is real and thanks to donations from local churches, businesses and individuals, that need is being addressed."
Preparation for the Christmas distribution is in full swing as the Food Bank is gearing up for its annual TOY GIVE-A-WAY. Hundreds of kids, who might otherwise not get anything for Christmas, will get some great Christmas gifts just because they were made available through the joint efforts of local churches, businesses, and individuals who, so willingly, donate nice slightly-used, or new, gifts to help children.
Frank said, "Each year just before Christmas, the Lighthouse has not only distributed food items for our clients, but we have had toys and other type presents for the families to choose from and give to their children for Christmas. In several cases the Lighthouse staff have been informed these toys were the only presents that some of our client's children would receive. This is another indicator of the desperate needs in our area. Last year, Lighthouse distributed toys and gifts for 266 children."
This is a great opportunity for you to make a difference for a lot of children. Frank said, "This is where you can help! We need toys! Lighthouse is conducting a toy drive where new, or gently used toys, or perhaps other appropriate items can be donated and in turn help many children have a Merry Christmas." Items donated in the past have included all kinds of toys such as dolls, tractors, stuffed animals, games, books, basketballs, footballs, hats, gloves, scarves and even bicycles and other riding toys.
The toys, and other items collected, will be distributed on Friday, December 19 at the NewPage Local 680 Union Hall between the hours of 8:00 AM and 12 noon. Food bank clients will first be required to come to Full Gospel Temple and get their food distribution and will then be given a certificate to allow them to shop for available items at the Union Hall. The Union Hall is located on Highway 286 in Wickliffe just past Town and Country Food Mart in Wickliffe.
If you have new, or gently used, items you would like to donate please contact one of the following individuals to arrange for drop-off, or pickup, as necessary. Contacts are: Tracy Buchanan at 270- 564-4611, Chestine Cage at 270-210-6783 or Frank Cage at 270-562-1915.
Items can be donated now through Thursday, December 18.
Frank reminds everyone: "This is the perfect time to clean out some of those toy boxes and make a needy child really happy this Christmas."
So far in 2014, a total of 2,700 families have received help at the food bank (that equates to approximately 10,800 people; 15,000 pounds of meat has been given away, and 2,000 jars of spaghetti. Chestine said the current need is for toys and sweet potatoes.