Help for the holidays
- Published: December 9, 2019
As the weather turns colder and the holidays come nearer, community members may find that they need some assistance, whether with food, utility payments or with buying holiday gifts. Listed below are several available resources; community members not in need of these services might also choose to donate items or money to keep the services available.
• 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: the YS Police Department recently took local kids 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. The deadline has passed for residents to make requests for this year, but donors are now able to select gift tags from the tree, which have been coded and which list gift requests. Donors buy the gifts requested and return them, wrapped, with the tree tag attached securely. Gifts should be returned to the library by Friday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m., when the library closes. All donors and recipients will remain anonymous. For more information, call the library at 767-7661 or 352-4003.
• The Village of Yellow Springs initiated the Utility Round-Up Program, or URUP, earlier this year, with the support of the YS Community Foundation. The program is intended to help villagers in need of assistance with utility bills through donations from fellow villagers. Villagers who are at risk of having their utilities shut off may apply for assistance; applications need to be submitted before the 21st of each month. Those who would like to donate to the fund by rounding up their utility bill to the nearest whole number may do so by simply checking the URUP box on the bottom of a utility bill and sending it in with a payment. For more information, or to apply, call 767-3402 or email email@example.com.
• 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 YS Little Free Pantry is located on Walnut Street, behind First Presbyterian Church. This small pantry is stocked with basic, nonperishable food items by generous individuals, so there are varied contents. Personal care items, items for babies, canned vegetables and proteins are most needed. Requests for items may be made by making a note on the chalkboard on the side of the pantry. For more information, email yslittlefreepantry.org.
• 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 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For guidelines and applications, visit http://www.development.ohio.gov/is/is_heap.htm or call HEAP toll-free at 800-282-0880 Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.