Citicorp committee reaches out to needy

December 19, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories running on the 12 days before Christmas to recognize individuals and groups who make the holidays better for others.

Calling Pat Velten and her coworkers at Citicorp Credit Services the "Adopt A Family Committee" would be an understatement, especially at Christmas time.

More than 100 families, senior citizens and children are the recipients of the necessities and the niceties of life, at Christmas and sometimes beyond.


"As a committee, we like to follow them after the holidays so they don't hit the ground with a thud," said Velten, in her seventh year with the committee.

In addition to Velten, the committee includes Kris Mulka, Jen Greenidge, Harry Demayo, Pam Young and Nick Modha.

Phil Kelly, director of communications, is head of the Adopt A Family program at Citicorp and Velten said he lets the committee do what needs to be done.

"We begin the end of September, checking with agencies in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania for people in need," Velten said. "This year, we have 49 families so far."

Those families will receive food, clothes and toys provided by the efforts of the teams formed among the 2,400 Citicorp employees, Velten said.

"The teams come up with creative ways to raise money to support their goals," Velten said. Some sell sandwiches while others use other methods, she said.

In addition to those families, members of the committee contact San Mar Children's Home near Boonsboro, Shining Tree in Smithsburg and Big Pine near Clear Spring at Christmas.

"We get a list of what those youngsters need and we get it for them," Velten said.

Residents at W House and Wells House get gift baskets that committee members deliver themselves.

"Delivery is the fun part," Velten said.

As if that wasn't enough, the committee has identified 82 seniors at Julia Manor Health Care Center and Clearview, Coffman and Williamsport nursing homes. Each of those seniors will get something this Christmas from the Citicorp group.

"Sometimes they need sweatsuits, candy, movies, craft items ... we try to get it all," Velten said.

Friday: Loretta Tharp, coordinator of Operation Christmas Child

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