County Comment: County Employees Give Cash, Goods to Needy

County Comment
County Employees Give Cash, Goods to Needy
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

Employees of Washington County government gave more than $10,000 in cash and goods to needy citizens through 16 Dress-down Casual Day events in calendar year 2005.
Tina Rupert, Administrative Assistant in the Division of Public Works, organizes the events each year, in which employees who make donations have the ability to wear casual attire to work. There is one event per month unless special circumstances warrant additional events, and employees may donate $2.00 or more.
In addition to cash, employees gave truckloads of clothing and school supplies, more than 400 pounds of food, recreational equipment for Iraqi children, plus coats, hats and gloves. A cash value could not be placed on the amount of goods donated.
In January 2005, employees donated $1,824 for victims of the Southeast Asian Tsunami through the Red Cross, and $351.00 for Victory Junction.
In February $412 was raised for the Transplant Resource Center. March saw $400 donated to assist Juvenile Diabetes research. The Parent-Child Center received $361 from employees in April. $356 was provided the Shaken Baby Syndrome foundation in May.
June's event provided $322 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs.
In July, the local Children in Need program was provided a pickup truckload of clothing and school supplies plus $277 in cash. Children in Need provides assistance to school age children who cannot afford school supplies and school clothing.
The United Way Day of Caring was August's recipient of $314.00 and employees volunteered time for projects to benefit United Way agencies.
September saw a special donation for victims of Hurricane Katrina in which 217 employees donated $2,660.00 in cash. Later that month, the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund benefited from $336 donated by employees.
A special event was held in October to provide troops in Iraq with recreational equipment for use by children in areas devastated by war. The $328.00 donated was used to purchase 10 soccer balls, 11 pairs of soccer shorts, one padded goalie shirt one pair of soccer shoes, a net and four pair of socks. Later in the month, Y-Me of the Cumberland Valley was the recipient of $374.00 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities.
In November, employees donated more than 400 pounds of food and $315 in cash to help Food Resources of Washington County provide Thanksgiving meals to needy families.
December saw two of the most successful events. The Casual Day for Toys for Tots gathered $719.00 for the Marine Corps Reserve. The local Coats for Kids program benefited through the receipt of $549.00 in cash as well as a large number of coats, hats and gloves. The program provides winter wear for needy children in the community.
In total, $9,898.00 in cash was donated along with the thousands of dollars in canned goods, foodstuffs, clothing and sporting equipment.
2005 was the most successful year since the donation program began. County Administrator commended Rupert for coordinating the events and cited the generosity of County employees.
"Our employees have again gone above and beyond the normal duties of government workers in providing assistance to those in the community, nationwide and worldwide in time of need," Shoop said.
In addition, a separate donation event was of benefit to the REACH cold weather shelter. On Tuesday, November 8th four palettes of supplies valued at over $500.00 were donated, along with around $175.00 in cash. Supplies donated included such diverse items as paper towels, socks, Coffee, Instant Hot Chocolate, Pillows, Liquid Dish Soap, Chapstick, Hot and Cold Cups, Cleaning supplies, Personal Hygiene Items such as deodorant, foot powder, shaving cream and toothpaste, Heavy Work Gloves, Thermal Underwear, Dry Cereal, Instant Oatmeal, Paper Towels, Disinfectant Spray, Kleenex, Trash Bags, Aluminum Foil, Powdered Milk, Liquid Hand Soap, and a host of other items the shelter will use in providing temporary relief to homeless individuals during the winter months.