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BLOG – Give a little bit

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Well, as my literally fives of readers know, I use this web space semi-frequently to ramble in various stages of coherence about whatever it is I’m thinking at the moment. This week, I’m happy to say, I’ll be eschewing such content, for the most part.

The “season of giving” is upon us, and it tends to inspire thoughts of goodwill in many of us. For example, my most memorable act of holiday peacemaking was when I was a mere slip of a girl, during the Gulf War, and I wrote a letter on large-rule paper claiming: “Love means being nice to everybody. Even Sadam Who-Sane [sic].”

Whether or not you agree with this particular sentiment, you can surely acknowledge that,  while many will be steeped in plenty during the holiday, there are those unseen in the community who go without, regardless of the season. For community members who need a little help this time of year, and year-round, there is assistance available via a variety of organizations, listed here. And for those who have more than enough, why not consider donating to one or several of these causes?

Seasonal benefits:

• Each winter for more than 20 years, the Yellow Springs Police Department has kept local youth in need warm during winter months through its coat fund. This year’s fund has already been used: Police Chief Tony Pettiford recently took local children to the Mall at Fairfield Commons to buy coats, hats, gloves and shoes. Nevertheless, financial donations can be made all year round at the police station, located on the first floor of the John Bryan Community Center. Checks may be made out to the “Yellow Springs Police Coat Fund.” Donations will be used throughout the year to purchase school supplies, clothes or other needs for local children.

•Share the Joy is an annual gift-giving program  that helps adult residents of Yellow Springs and Miami Township who are in need of assistance with holiday gifts.  Through Friday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m., adults may fill out request forms, which are located in theYellow Springs  library beside the tree, along with brochures that explain the project. Volunteers will code the requests and put tags on the library Christmas tree. Holiday shoppers choose tags and make purchases, returning their wrapped gifts, with tags attached, to the library by Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. All donors and recipients will remain anonymous. For more information, call the library at 767-7661 or 352-4003.

Year-round assistance:

• The Emergency Welfare Committee helps to provide temporary and emergency assistance to people who have urgent financial and personal needs. The committee itself assists community members who need emergency, one-time help with rent, utilities, gas, etc. In the event of ongoing need, the committee can work with a family or individual to apply to H.E.A.P. (see below), or work with Village utility staff to make arrangements so that people can pay over time. Financial support for the committee is provided by donation from local organizations and the general public. For questions about assistance or to donate, contact Denise Swinger at 767-2236.

• The Yellow Springs Food Pantry, located in the basement of the United Methodist Church on Winter Street, is open the second and fourth Thursday of each month, 2–4 p.m. Food is available to residents of Yellow Springs and Miami Township. The pantry is kept stocked by donations from community members; the pantry can always use donations of canned goods, boxed meals and other non-perishables, as well as local produce and cleaning supplies. Monetary donations are also more than welcome; checks may be sent to the pantry in care of the United Methodist Church at 202 South Winter Street. For more information on the pantry or to donate, call 767-7560.

• The Home Assistance Program, a service of the Senior Center, helps older persons and those with disabilities remain in their homes, find solutions to problems that arise with diminishing abilities for self-care and care of the home, and strengthen the support offered by family and friends. Registered nurse Amy Crawford and social worker Erika Mahle assess needs and provide access to help with household tasks, home health care, prescription assistance and referrals to community agencies. Counseling, information and referral are offered regarding benefits, financial assistance, health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, housing, short-term or long-term care planning and other concerns. Home visits and consultations at the Senior Center are provided. Those who need help may contact Amy or Erika via the Senior Center at 7675751, or email All contact is confidential.

Federally-administered benefits

• The Home Energy Assistance Program , or HEAP, is a federally funded program designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating. In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to the applicant’s energy bill by their utility company or fuel vendor. Applicants for HEAP must be at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For guidelines and applications, visit or call HEAP toll-free at 800-282-0880 Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.


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