Hamilton Township clothing and toy drive

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

What do a fire department, a school, and a church have in common? They all serve the community and in Hamilton Township they banded together to provide clothing and toys for the needy during the holidays.

The Hamilton Township Fire Department, Hamilton Local Schools, and Leave A Mark church are in the midst of a drive supporting a nearly 20-year-old program—Holiday Help—and are assisting 55 families with a combined total of 181 children.

School district guidance counselors identify families and reach out to offer support from Holiday Help. If the families agree to receive assistance, they are sent a form indicating clothing sizes and wish list items. The forms are anonymous and distributed to volunteers adopting families.

The church is the host site for the program and where sponsored families pick up gifts and clothing, along with two to three boxes of non-perishable food items and a ham or turkey.
Times are set aside by Leave A Mark on Dec. 15 and 16 to sort and distribute gifts and food.

“We feel it is important to conduct these drives to get people involved in helping those in their community who are less fortunate,” said Sandy Goldbach, the church’s Connections Director. “Jesus says to feed the hungry, take care of the lost and broken, and serve those around you. We believe that the body of the church should do their part to fulfill this mission.”

Hamilton Schools Public Relations Director Kaitlin Duncan said businesses and people throughout the township—including the church, school system and fire department; along with Obetz Church of the Nazarene, Kraft Distribution Center, Obetz Dairy Queen and Kelly’s Market—volunteered to adopt families and then shop for clothing and toys.

“We just finished a districtwide hat, glove, and sock drive,” said Duncan. “These items will be donated to the families in need. We will be hosting a canned food drive the week of Dec. 6 through Dec. 10. All items will be donated to the Christmas assistance families that are in need. We will be accepting donations from the community at our administrative building, 775 Rathmell Road from Dec. 6 to Dec. 10 during office hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

While all of the families are assigned for this year, Hamilton Township Fire Department Chief Martin Hafey said donations of clothing and toys can still be dropped off Station 171, 1460 Obetz Road until Dec. 20 in support of families in need.

“The past few years have been hard on everyone, and there have been many unexpected changes,” said Duncan. “We want to help as many families in our community as possible, and we want them to know that our district is not only here to help their students, but we are here to help the family as a whole. Holiday Help can provide hope to those who may lose that feeling down around the holiday season. Holiday Help is here to help our community as much as we can.”

If you or someone you know is in need during the holiday season, reach out to Hamilton Local School District school counselors at 614-491-8044, or contact Deb Dunn or Goldbach at Leave A Mark church, 614-491-5262.

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