Winter brings it’s pleasures, but also some hard to handle things like the cost of heating your home or shoveling snow. Those with less financial stability find these things are often insurmountable issues that add to the burden of poverty.
FISH tries to ease this burden by providing support in the form of food, clothing and linens. The generous donations of the holidays are gone and we face an increasing number of people needing help. The cost of winter heating throws everyone’s budgets into shock. If you are already financially in a tight spot it can tip the scales.
Here are a few thoughts that might help you see how you can help.
Many of us try to downsize our homes and remove from closets things rarely used like mismatched but still good towels. Maybe you are helping an elderly person move into smaller accommodations and they do not need the large number of sheets they once did. You may be asked to help clean out the home of someone who has passed away. All of these activities offer you a chance to enrich the shelves of our linen bank at First Baptist Church. Drop off time is Thursday mornings.
Our clothings bank had many donations over the holiday when new clothes arrived under the Christmas tree and space was needed. There are, however, continued needs for certain things that leave as soon as they arrive. Children’s clothing is always needed because they continue to grow out of what they are wearing. Donations seem to favor women so many men’s smaller sizes are always needed. Coats for men go out the door as soon as they arrive. Please remember that you are saving the environment as well when you donate clothing. The cost to all of us in water and energy to produce a piece of clothing is significant. Helping the poor with clothing helps our planet.
Of course food is the most difficult need we face. The clients are allowed to visit two times per month but the number of households has increased and that means our food consumption has expanded. We continue to seek resources for stable foods and meats but at present we cannot meet demand. The garden days are coming but fresh produce is nearly nonexistent during the winter.
Please think of how to support food when you shop. Buying two of an item can often have little impact on you and become a great source for someone else.
Many of our churches are planning special drives for Lent. Instead of giving up chocolate give food to someone else. We have added to Facebook a request for your Super Bowl shopping to include soup and crackers for the food bank. With a little thoughtful preparation you can make a difference. Food bank hours are 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9-11 a.m. Wednesday. Donations can be received at any of those times. If you have a large collection from your church or office please call our phone number (765-362-3474)to make arrangements.
Remember if all of these choices are not something you can do, financial help through a check to our Post Box #261 Crawfordsville can make a difference.
Linda Cherry is president of FISH of Montgomery County.