Our holiday fund helps Northeast people in need

Sud­denly, it seems, the sea­son is al­most upon us. And we need your help.

Ac­tu­ally, throughout the North­east, there are in­di­vidu­als and fam­il­ies who need your help. You have giv­en so much in the past to give them prom­ise and hope dur­ing what could be an oth­er­wise hope­less hol­i­day sea­son.

So we are call­ing on North­east Times read­ers once again.

Your fin­an­cial con­tri­bu­tions to the North­east Times Elean­or Smylie Com­munity Fund do so much to help less for­tu­nate people in the North­east en­joy a nour­ish­ing hol­i­day meal or presents un­der the tree.

Read­ers of the Times are the reas­on the fund has ex­is­ted for 56 years, star­ted so long ago by Elean­or Smylie, the late chair­wo­man and mat­ri­arch of the fam­ily that owned the news­pa­per for 65 years.

The char­it­able fund has re­lied on the com­pas­sion of our read­ers, whose good hearts and eager­ness to help less for­tu­nate people in our area make this very spe­cial time of year just a bit bright­er.

“My friend, a single moth­er of five, is un­able to work and re­lies on So­cial Se­cur­ity dis­ab­il­ity each month,” re­cently wrote one wo­man on be­half of a friend. “She is do­ing what she can to keep her fam­ily to­geth­er. I know the fam­ily would be grate­ful for any help at the hol­i­days.”

There is a com­mon theme to the pre­dic­a­ments of these people, these fel­low res­id­ents of the North­east. Many in need of a hol­i­day meal have writ­ten to us with sor­row­ful stor­ies of how ill­ness has changed their lives or brought un­ex­pec­ted ex­penses. Oth­ers have been con­fron­ted with a job loss without warn­ing. For oth­ers, a death — a close fam­ily mem­ber, per­haps even a dear friend — has had a pro­found im­pact that is even more pro­nounced at this time of year.

And most of these people in need of help ex­press sin­cere ap­pre­ci­ation for whatever can be done. They ap­pre­ci­ate that a ges­ture as sym­bol­ic as a hol­i­day meal or presents for chil­dren can do so much, and mean so much, to bring light to a time of year that oth­er­wise would be without good times or fam­ily to­geth­er­ness. They look to­ward the new year with an­ti­cip­a­tion.

From one hol­i­day sea­son to the next, our read­ers have al­ways come through. Last year, for ex­ample, your con­tri­bu­tions en­abled our hol­i­day fund to dis­trib­ute nearly $9,000 worth of hol­i­day meals, toys and gifts to help 82 fam­il­ies in need throughout the North­east.

This im­port­ant mis­sion can’t be achieved without you. And we know that these very dif­fi­cult eco­nom­ic times make it even tough­er.

We will provide those meals and presents again.

“My hours at work were cut in half and I am strug­gling to keep my apart­ment,” wrote one per­son in a let­ter to the Times. “I’m wor­ried that I will not be able to give my fam­ily a Christ­mas.” 

As the cam­paign pro­gresses, we’ll be pub­lish­ing the names of read­ers who have donated to the fund. Or, if you prefer, we’ll hon­or your wishes to re­main an­onym­ous.

We gladly wel­come let­ters from North­east res­id­ents who are fa­cing a par­tic­u­larly tough time this sea­son and would be grate­ful for a spe­cial hol­i­day din­ner or need help with gifts. Or, if you’re a re­l­at­ive or neigh­bor who knows of someone, tell us about it.

So read­ers, please, if you can help, send con­tri­bu­tions to the North­east Times Elean­or Smylie Com­munity Fund, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053. Let­ters seek­ing help also can be sent to the same ad­dress.

But we do re­quire some in­form­a­tion. If you or someone you know is in need of as­sist­ance, please write us a short let­ter ex­plain­ing why help is needed. In­clude your name, ad­dress and tele­phone num­ber. 

Also, we re­quire that people ask­ing for help provide the name and phone num­ber of a per­son or agency so that we may veri­fy a re­cip­i­ent’s situ­ation.

For so many years, our read­ers have been so im­port­ant to ef­forts to reach out to oth­ers in the North­east.

We ap­pre­ci­ate what you do to help them en­joy a hol­i­day that’s a bit hap­pi­er, and one that does won­ders for faith in oth­ers.

The dona­tions have star­ted to ar­rive, and we’d like to thank these ini­tial con­trib­ut­ors to the fund:

• James Al­bert: $20

• Bruce C., Frank­ford: $3

• Linda Mount: $25

• Frances Pet­rella: $10

• Dor­is Riso: $20

• Tara Rodzwic: $25

• Ad­eline Ver­nac­chio: $10

• Ray­mond Wru­bel: $5

• In memory of Mar­garet Evans Tarpini­an: $25

Total: $ 143.00

You can reach at noreply@bsmphilly.com.

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