LOWVILLE Lewis Countys Department of Social Services and Youth Bureau are teaming up again this holiday season, collecting donations for the Homeless Christmas Tree to help the homeless in the county.
The initiative provides bins of household goods and toiletries to families that have sought help from DSS, to ease the transition into housing.
Statistics from DSS show a definite need, as 225 residents have received services because of a lack of safe and affordable housing so far in 2013. Approximately 40 percent of those assisted were children.
There are many reasons that families find themselves homeless, said Penny L. Demo, Lewis County Department of Social Services executive assistant. That can include job loss, illness and addictions.
The bins are provided to families getting back on their feet after being homeless.
This year, Ms. Demo said, the groups are looking for the donation of specific items to fill the bins.
Personal hygiene items, such as towels, soap, shampoo, razors, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, brushes and combs are needed.
For kitchen items, silverware, pots and pans, knives, mixing bowls and plastic dishes are requested.
Other necessities on the list are diapers, cleaning supplies, blankets and pillowcases.
We are really looking for anything that a family would need when starting over, Ms. Demo said.
Donations will be accepted starting Nov. 18 at the DSS office, 5274 Stowe St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or at the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, 7557 S. State St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. When a donation is made, an ornament created by area school art students will be placed on the Homeless Tree.
Our goal is to blanket the tree with ornaments, Ms. Demo said.
For more information and a full list of requested items, call Ms. Demo at 376-5411.