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Thursday

April 2014

24

Give back to the community

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The number of families in the Sussex community who utilize programs from the Sussex-Area Outreach Services appears to be growing.

According to SOS Executive Director Jennifer Waltz, 213 Thanksgiving baskets were distributed this year, compared to 175 last year.

SOS served 455 family units in 2012 who were seeking food, clothing, counseling, educational training, preventive health programming and referrals. The pantry alone is counting up to 325 family-visits each month.

The good news: you can help. Each year, the Sussex Sun teams up with the Sussex Lions Club for its Yule Feed Families food drive. We'll match each dollar donated by 70 cents, and we will give 40 cents for each food item donated up to $500.

The Lions Club has been busy collecting food and monetary donations for Christmas meals, which will be distributed by the food pantry. The club gathered $2,300 at a recent drive, along with some food, to help them work toward their goal of feeding over 200 families for Christmas this year.

The club will collect food and monetary donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 15 at the Sussex Pick 'n Save, N65 W25055 Main St. and Piggly Wiggly, N63 W23735 Main St.

Lion John Haunfelder said that monetary donations will be most helpful at this point in time to help fund the Christmas meals. The Lions club will be purchasing all the food for the meals, and every single penny will be given to the food pantry, he explained.

But if it's food you wish to donate, the food pantry needs rice sides, boxed potatoes, ravioli, macaroni and cheese, one-item meals like Hamburger Helper, cans of tuna and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables, baby formula (both soy and milk based) and cereal, explained Waltz.

And they need these donations, alongside clothing donations, year-round. Monetary donations are always needed.

"We're still here. We're still serving the same people," said Waltz, adding that donations drop sharply in January.

SOS is gearing up for a big toy distribution on Dec. 14. They're looking for new toys, books, puzzles, games and clothes for children — so these families can have something to put under the Christmas tree. Consider a fun donation alongside your food donation, too.

Donate at the Lions' upcoming drive, or drop off or send your donations to the newspaper office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through noon on Dec. 20. The office is at 1010 Richards Road, Hartland, WI 53029.

Reporter Melissa Graham contributed to this story.

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