We are known as “The Valley with a Heart.”
And that can certainly be seen in the large number of efforts to help the less fortunate among us.
Sometimes, however, when school’s let out and we head off for summer vacation, our charitable efforts take a bit of a back seat.
Unfortunately, those in need don’t get a break just because the mercury in the thermometer starts to climb higher. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, the Red Cross and every other charitable organization so many area residents need the same amount of assistance in July and August as they do in November and December.
“It’s been really busy,” Mike Cianciotta, director of the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, told reporter Bill O’Boyle last week. “Constant every day — steady.”
More than 300 people come to the kitchen daily, Cianciotta told O’Boyle. They depend on the kitchen for food, whether it be the hot prepared meals for lunch and dinner, or the staples they can get at the kitchen’s food pantry, according to his story on the Christmas in July program sponsored by Boscov’s.
It’s one of the reason we are thrilled to partner with the department store chain on the program. But our partnership alone isn’t enough to make it a success.
We need you too.
According to O’Boyle’s story, which was in Sunday’s Times Leader, community pantries/kitchens are in desperate need of canned tuna, fruit, and canned vegetables, boxes of cereal and all non-perishable foods.
In Wilkes-Barre, Boscov’s has a Christmas tree on the fourth floor near the courtesy desk where customers can purchase a pin-up for $1 to place on the tree. Proceeds will go to Catholic Social Services to buy items such as socks, underwear and T-shirts for the homeless and others in need.
Donations of food can also be dropped into the barrel next to the tree at the Boscov’s courtesy desk in the fourth floor.
Customers can also select an angel from the Christmas in July tree. Each angel has a gift for the customer to purchase and drop off at Boscov’s courtesy desk.
Monsignor Joseph Kelly told O’Boyle one in five children in Northeastern Pennsylvania is facing hunger. He said with kids out of school for the summer, the need for food is vital.
“The community always responds when they understand the need,” Kelly said. “During this summer, no one should go hungry.”
So take a small break from the pool, parks and backyard barbecues in the next few weeks, and give just a little.
You won’t even notice an hour or so away from your typical summer activities.
But for those who count on our generosity to get by, it will mean the world.
– Times Leader