STEUBENVILLE — City police are doing their part to make the winter months brighter for children and families in need.
Fraternal Order of Police Fort Steuben Lodge No. 1 has donated $500 to the Salvation Army for coats for kids and another $500 to assist with holiday meals for the needy, Lodge No. 1 President Jim Marquis said.
“This year, we know times are tough due to COVID — we’ve been having small fundraisers, and one of the gentlemen who donated an item last year said pay it forward, so we did,” Marquis said.
He said the lodge has been holding drawings — the most recent was for a tailgate package that included a 75 quart ORCA cooler and a Weber tabletop grill, both of them donated by M&M True Value Hardware’s Sean and Scott Campbell, a six-foot folding table, two chairs with beverage holders, a canopy, as well as gift cards to McConnell’s Farm Market and Walmart.
Snack Shack has also assisted the lodge’s efforts, and credits Franco Carapellotti for letting them sell tickets for the drawings at Renegate Ridge ATV park.
“Last year we started it,” he said. “Obviously, we don’t have as much (to give) as we did last year, but we wanted to help in some way.”
Marquis said they’re expecting community need to outstrip available resources as the year winds down.
“They did 133 coats last year, but year they’re already anticipating (a lot more),” he said. “And this year they’re going to have (the additional expenses) for takeout, so they were very pleased with the donation.”
Marquis said they’re already making plans to ring the bell for The Salvation Army this holiday season, though that’s still in the planning stages.
“When the kettle starts we’ll pick a location and FOP will do it,” he said, adding it’s “very rewarding” for his members to be able to give back to the community, pointing out the projects help those in need.
“They are people who aren’t’ going to have holiday dinners,” he said. “We can fill that gap.”
Salvation Army Capt. Angie Smith said they figure on providing coats for 200-plus kids this year. Because of the coronavirus, Smith said they’ll be hit with an extra expense in purchasing the clam shell containers, and individual items.
“We anticipate serving 300-plus for the Thanksgiving meal and … an increase for Christmas due to the COVID pandemic,” Smith said.
She said kids from birth to age 17 qualify for the coat giveaway. Sign-ups can be done by calling The Salvation Army at (740) 282-5121.
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