Friday, November 7, 2008

Delaware Does More: Neighbors Helping Neighbors All Winter Long

Brandywine Counseling has joined a new community-wide initiative to meet an anticipated significant spike in demand for social services in Delaware this coming winter. Delaware Does More is a community-based strategy, jointly proposed by United Way of Delaware and The Food Bank of Delaware:

“You’ve heard the news accounts. Job losses. Foreclosures. Spiking oil prices. The global credit crisis has come home to Delaware.

When there’s no work, there’s no money. No food. No heat. No way to pay the rent, or the mortgage. For a rapidly increasing number of Delawareans, this is the new reality.

It’s the perfect storm—at the perfectly worst time of the year: Winter.

Delaware is bracing for what many expect will be a dramatic surge in demand for assistance with food, shelter, and heat this winter. Demand that is above and beyond the norm. Demand that we cannot meet with current resources.

What can we do collectively to aid our friends and neighbors—perhaps even our own family members—this winter?

The answer is Delaware Does More. An emergency food and funds drive to ask those who live and work in Delaware to give more, help more, care more. Now more than ever.”

Delaware Does More has two goals:

1. FOOD - Between November 2008 and January 2009, generate 300,000 pounds of donated food via a series of “Delaware Does More” food drives throughout the state.

2. HEAT AND SHELTER - Between November 2008 and January 2009, generate $250,000 in incremental contributions to fund utility and shelter assistance in Delaware.

This initiative asks all Delawareans to help meet these goals: Businesses, schools, faith-based groups, social and civic clubs, neighborhood associations, sports teams, and individual families. We are asked to be creative, be aggressive, and be involved.

How can you help? Here are a few ways:

1. Collect as much shelf-stable food as possible, as quickly as possible. Contact The Food Bank at (302) 292-1305 or for information.

2. Help raise incremental funds toward the utilities and shelter goal (over and above what you may already have contributed to United Way or other groups) as quickly as possible. For more information, contact Monique Chadband at United Way at (302) 573-3762.

3. If you’re a business organization, educational institution, or faith-based organization, there are many ways you can help, including fund or food raising drives, email messages, or special activities like a bingo night or pancake breakfast. For more information, contact Monique Chadband at (302) 573-3762.

We at BCI think this is a great idea. We know that the people we serve are among those most in need of help, and so we strongly support Delaware Does More and look forward to being a part of this effort. In the coming days, we’ll decide how we can best support the initiative. I encourage you to help any way you can.

At this morning’s press conference, Patricia Beebe of the Food Bank recited some lines from the speech given earlier this week by President-elect Obama. I am going to follow her lead because his words truly speak to the job ahead of us:

“And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

“And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”


Anonymous said...

Do you know what gets me? There are ALWAYS food drives for the holidays...BUT do you realize there a tons of people who need food all year round? People do not just eat during the holidays??? This needs to be a year round event...THINK ABOUT IT

Matt said...

Your point is well taken, but the impetus behind this emergency drive is the recent economic downturn, which means more people than usual will need assistance. It's not just a holiday drive.