Time to pitch in

Businesses unite for ‘Neighbors helping Neighbors’

October 31, 2011 

Several Lake Wylie businesses are teaming up to help their neighbors.

The Lake Wylie Pilot, Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce, Bank of America-Lake Wylie and Kodiak Mini Storage are asking the community to jointly collect food, toys and coats through Dec. 20 for Clover Area Assistance Center.

Kick off is Nov. 1 and collection is through Dec. 20.

“For years we’ve tried to reach out and mobilize community to give to those less fortunate,” said chamber president Susan Bromfield, who is spearheading the drive. “We have a greater need than ever. So if our community could pitch in, it will make a difference.”

Last year, almost 200 toys were collected, and nearly 1,000 coats, hats, gloves and scarves.

“We’d like to collect even more this year,” Bromfield said.

“The goal really is to partner everywhere we can with schools, churches and businesses,” said CAAC Executive Director Karen van Vierssen. “Poverty belongs to everyone, and we all have to do something.”

With the current economic slump, she said, the center is seeing a rising number of people who are used to being independent but because of job are needing some help.

“That’s different from someone dealing with poverty for a long time,” she said. “A whole array of people are in need for different reasons.”

Donation items wanted include:

Canned goods. Especially soup, meat, peanut butter, pastas, beans, and anything protein.

Unwrapped new toys all ages, including young teenagers. While CAAC’s Santa’s Closet collects toys for children up to age 14, other organizations can share in the effort.

New coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Some items may be used for Santa’s closet, while others can be passed on to other local organizations.

“We don’t want someone slipping through the crack and getting missed,” Bromfield said.

The center serves a regular client base of 300 to 325 a month, van Vierssen said. CAAC is a nonprofit, collaborative agency established to respond effectively and compassionately to needy individuals residing within the boundaries of the Clover School District. Urgent needs are met with food, financial assistance, health services and special needs items, and through advocacy and referrals to other organizations. CAAC’s preventative and educational programs work to increase self-sufficiency.

Drop off locations are at Bank of America at Mill Creek Commons from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, and at Kodiak Mini Storage from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call 803-831-2827 or 803-831-8166.

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