Agency down 10 percent in regular cash donations

November 24, 2000

Agency down 10 percent in regular cash donations

By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - More than 250 area residents, mostly those with no place to go for Thanksgiving dinner, had a free meal thanks to the generosity of area churches, about 25 volunteers and the dedication of the Waynesboro Area Human Services Council.

"We never have a problem getting food, help and money donated for the annual Thanksgiving dinner," said Susan Brall, coordinator for the council and one of its two part-time employees. "It's a community project. We never have to make a big appeal, but we are down by 10 percent in our regular cash donations this year."

Money and food for the Thanksgiving dinner come from cash donations and donations of food from area grocery stores and organizations, Brall said.

The dinner was at the Evangelical Lutheran Church at 43 W. Church St. Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Included were about 80 dinners that were sent out from the church to folks who couldn't make it in for a variety of reasons, Brall said.


The agency runs on an annual budget of about $65,000. That includes salaries plus the council's mission of helping people in trouble.

Brall said she doesn't know why cash donations have fallen off this year. She said recent layoffs at Grove Worldwide in Shady Grove, Pa., and at other businesses may be a factor.

"These things trickle down," she said.

She also said that more charitable organizations are operating in Franklin County than ever before. "They all want a piece of the pie," she said.

A 10 percent cut in donations represents about $3,000 in lost income. That, coupled with an equal loss in rental income that the agency collects from offices in its building at 40 W. North St., means a total income loss of about $6,000 for the year, Brall said.

One popular program, the free diaper bank that hands out about 700 diaper packs a year to needy families, will suffer, she said.

"It costs us about $4,500 a year to run and (it) may be the first to go," she said. "We're not a big operation here but we do help from 2,000 to 3,000 people a year."

Brall said a $6,000 loss in income is coming in a year when the demand for agency services - with a colder-than-normal winter predicted along with higher heating fuel prices - will be higher than ever.

"Waynesboro has always been a giving community, but right now we're in a crisis," she said.

Anyone wishing to help may call the agency at 717-762-6941.

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