May is a good time for Ephrata Area Social Services
The Letter Carriers food drive is huge. It happens on Mother’s Day weekend. As the weather changes, so do the habits of people wishing to show support for the local food bank. Students having to perform community service work for National Honor Society make arrangements to collect food at a local grocery store. Confirmation students also find that conducting a food drive is a good way to complete their assignments. The Leo Club will also conduct a food drive in the Spring of the year.
It is not readily known that many local churches are collecting food for the food bank on a weekly basis. Some of those churches will get in touch to see what the current needs are, as well. We have a way to conduct a food drive outlined on our EASS web site, eassinfo.org. It is gratifying to all of us here at EASS to see the continued support that is shown for the food bank and for the organization as a whole.
The Eicher Arts Center DAY OF CARING is an example of an organization embracing the EASS mission. During the presentation of its activity, food was collected while consideration is given to other agencies performing socially conscious work in our community. It is something that happens quite often in the Ephrata and Denver areas. The air of generosity that permeates our geography is both a blessing, and, dare I say in some cases, a challenge.
Spring has brought an uptick in the number of calls requesting assistance. Was it the cold snap we experienced that has brought on additional hardships to already struggling families? We don’t know! We only know what people will share with us. We do know that, in most instances, our help is not sufficient to bail them completely out of the presenting circumstance. The knowledge that some possess regarding the generosity aspect of our area leads many to call local churches for the remainder of the bill that must be paid to prevent an electric disconnect or to have home heating fuel delivered to the residence.
One thing that EASS will not do is name a church that one should call for that help. We respect the integrity of the church community. That we exist within that community and have been able to sustain for the entirety of our existence because of the ongoing support of many local churches is why we will not place an additional burden on a particular church. People need to call their home church first and, if necessary, call another church that they feel will be receptive to their need. It should be said that we are supported by any number of individuals, businesses, organizations and foundations as well.
The founding fathers of EASS developed policy for EASS in a day and time when life was somewhat less traumatic for residents of the Denver and Cocalico region. Things have changed during the past 43 years. Demographics, earning potential, household expenses, all different than in 1971. Add to that that we have experienced a migration of populations from neighboring communities and that our community has gone from a home owner tradition to a landlord industry where you have related issues that are most likely impacting the current state of the region with respect to people needing help.
It goes without saying, people in need are fortunate that, for now, with help, there are ways to make it through tough times. I believe that we all need to take stock in what we have and to call for assistance as a last resort. The pool of available resources is not infinite.
Look for the EASS display at the upcoming, June 7, Hospital Day in the Park at Grater Memorial Park. We will have a table in the Business Expo tent. Those donating a food item will receive ride tickets for the kids (while they last) and we will have a contest that can result in a nice gift certificate, plus other surprises. Hope to see you there.
About Tom Swalwell
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