(Dec. 12, 2014) The Ocean City Police Department, Santa House, Worcester G.O.L.D. and Toys for Tots will be assisting local families in need this holiday season by collecting toys, food, clothing and monetary donations throughout the area.The Ocean City Police Department will be working with Santa House for the second year to provide food and toys to local families. These donations will help struggling families across Worcester County have a jolly holiday season.
“We were already working very closely with them [Santa House.] We figured it would be more efficient, spread the love and help even more families in the county,” said OCPD Public Affairs Specialist Lindsay Richard. “The relationship has been working out great.”
The Santa House is collecting new, unwrapped toys until the deadline on Monday, Dec. 15.
The toys can be dropped off at the Public Safety Building, located on 65th Street or at any Calvin B. Taylor Bank location throughout Worcester County.
Monetary donations can be mailed to Santa House, Inc. at P.O. Box 14, Snow Hill, Md. 21863 and there is no deadline because Santa House helps needy families all year around.
The Parrothead Club had its annual ‘Hots for Tots’ Chili Cook-off last weekend at the Greene Turtle in West Ocean City where they collected toys for Santa House and the Ocean City Police Department.
In addition, the organization ‘Toys for Tommy’ will host a couple different events at local bars. They collected dozens of toys and more than $600 in donations at Burley Oak in Berlin on Dec. 1.
Yesterday, Fager’s Island held a holiday party where they collected toys and donations for the organizations.
In 2013, the Santa House provided food, toys and clothes for more than 500 families, including 50 from Ocean City.
Ocean City families who have signed up can pick up their items on Friday, Dec.19 at the Public Safety Building from 9 a.m. to noon.
Unfortunately, because of the long process of setting up items for needy families, the deadline for accepting new families is over.
“We have a number of families signed up this year. There won’t be a shortage of families being helped even though the deadline has pasted,” Richard said.
Contact the Santa House at 443-944-2011 with donation questions.
The Worcester County G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity) “Helping Hands for the Holidays” program is in its 18th year and they are seeking sponsors.
The program served 940 needy people in Worcester County last holiday season. This year there are an abundance of children and elderly who need food, clothing, household items and gifts or toys.
“We see a lot of need especially in Snow Hill and Pocomoke. There are parents working multiple minimum wage jobs and a nice Christmas is beyond their budget,” said Worcester G.O.L.D. Executive Director Claire Otterbein. “The community is so generous with donations coming from organizations, youth groups, and churches. It is great to see the generosity.”
Community sponsors are matched up with families or individuals in need. Worcester G.O.L.D. wants to match up as many people and families as soon as possible.
The needy families fill out a form, which will provide gift ideas and clothing sizes for their sponsor to buy.
Since the organization has a small staff, they set Friday, Dec. 19 as the last day for accepting names.
Helping Hands for the Holidays is a great way for service clubs and youth groups to give back to their neighbors living in poverty.
Monetary or gift card donations are needed to provide for people not matched directly with a supporter. Donations can be made through PayPal at worcestergold.org or sent directly to Worcester County G.O.L.D., P.O. Box 39, Snow Hill, Md. 21863. Anyone interested in sponsoring a child or senior can call G.O.L.D. at 410-677-6830.
Worcester G.O.L.D. is a nonprofit who provides financial aid to families in crisis, vulnerable adults and children in foster care.
“There are many ways for people to help those in need. We are working all year around and I understand the busy holiday season is hard,” Otterbein said. “Just remember us and other charitable organizations when the holidays are over.”
Toys for Tots
Last year, Toys for Tots distributed 16.8 million toys to seven million less fortunate children. Locally, 7,619 toys were delivered to 344 children.
All toys are distributed locally to children in areas including Ocean City, Berlin, Frankford and Selbyville.
“The general community and outpouring of toys is very beneficial for the program. People really get behind it,” said Toys for Tots Coordinator Jack Carey.
They will have a fundraiser and buffet on Sun. Dec 14. at the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st Street from 1-4 p.m. There will be a $10 donation to attend and no toys will be accepted. Entertainment will be provided by the Imagines.
“We accepted toys at this event years ago, but we weren’t getting the toys we needed,” Carey said. “We can do more with cash donations.”
Ocean City and Berlin’s Optimist Club and the Irish American Society have been big contributors to Toys for Tots this season.
The first Toys for Tots campaign was conducted in Los Angeles in 1947 and this year they have over 760 campaigns throughout the United States.
The Ocean City Council proclaimed December, Toys for Tots month.
“I’ve been involved for the last 12 years and a coordinator for seven. It is a great thing we do,” Carey said. “It is a large undertaking, but a lot of fun. These are children that need to get a toy.”
There is a Friday, Dec. 19 deadline to donate toys. For a list of drop off locations visit www.toysfortots.org or call Carey at 302-537-7272.
Members of the Ocean City Parrothead Club and Greene
Turtle West General Manager Chad Rogers, third from right,
display toys donated by guests attending the organization’s 16th annual
Hots for Tots Chili Cookoff, Dec. 7 at the West Ocean City restaurant.
The Cookoff raises funds for Worcester GOLD (Giving Other Lives Dignity),
a nonprofit helping children, adults and families in need during the holiday
season as well as collects toys for the Ocean City Police Department and the
Santa House in Snow Hill.