Ocean City Today

Area organizations collect donations for those in need

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 30, 2017
The Ocean City Police Department will be partnering with Worcester G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity) to provide toys for Worcester County children during their annual holiday toy drive for the second year in a row. In 2016, hundreds of toys and more than $1,000 in donations were donated to the local nonprofit.

(Dec. 1, 2017) The Ocean City Police Department, Worcester G.O.L.D., American Legion Post #166 and Toys for Tots will be assisting local families in need as well as troops overseas this holiday season by collecting toys, food, clothing, personal care and monetary donations throughout the area.

• Ocean City Police Dept.:

The Ocean City Police Department has teamed up with Worcester G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity) for the second year to provide toys for Worcester County children during their annual holiday toy drive.

“For as long as I can remember, the Ocean City Police Department has been collecting toy donations for local families in need,” said Jessica Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City. “Because of the overwhelming generosity of our community, both residents and businesses alike, we have been able to help make Christmas a little merrier for hundreds of families in Worcester County. It is the true spirit of the season.”

The Ocean City Police Department is collecting new, unwrapped toys until Tuesday, Dec. 12. The toys can be dropped off at the Public Safety Building on 65th Street. Donated toys should be valued at $40 or less. Do not include jewelry, electronics, video games or toy weapons.

• Worcester G.O.L.D.:

Worcester County G.O.L.D. is seeking sponsors for its annual “Helping Hands for the Holidays” initiative.

The program served more than 650 needy residents in Worcester County last holiday season.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 463 children and elderly have signed up and need food, clothing, household items and gifts or toys. The majority of the donations go toward children and their toy wish lists for Christmas.

Each sponsor is matched up with a child or family before Worcester G.O.L.D. gives them information on what the kids are hoping to receive for Christmas or the needs of an elderly resident.

Community sponsors are paired with families or individuals in need and it is a great opportunity for businesses, service clubs, churches, families and youth groups to help neighbors living in poverty.

“Essential needs such as food, hygiene items and blankets are donated to vulnerable adults,” said Worcester G.O.L.D. Executive Director Sandy Sipes. “Gifts, toys, clothing and shoes are donated to children.”

The families in need are referred to Worcester County G.O.L.D. by a local agency such as the health department or social services before they fill out a form, which provides gift ideas and clothing sizes for their sponsors.

“They help to ensure what the family needs for Christmas,” Sipes said. “Last year, we helped 605 children and 50 vulnerable adults.”

Monetary or gift card donations are needed to provide for people not matched directly with a supporter. Donations can be made through PayPal at worcestergold.org or checks can be sent directly to Worcester County G.O.L.D., P.O. Box 39, Snow Hill, Maryland, 21863.

“Everyone needs a helping hand at times and sometimes it’s us,” Sipes said. “By helping others, we are helping ourselves.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring a child or senior can call G.O.L.D. at 410-677-6830 or sign up using the electronic form on worcestergold.org.

“Helping Hands shines a light of kindness on people living in the area who are willing to help our neighbors in need and make sure they have a happier and enjoyable holiday,” Sipes said.

Worcester G.O.L.D. is a nonprofit that has provided financial aid to families in crisis, vulnerable adults and children in foster care since 1996.

“As of now, we have requests to help 463 people in Worcester County and we are getting more every day,” Sipes said. “We currently have 90 sponsors and need more. Donations are greatly appreciated because anyone who signs up, we never turn away. G.O.L.D provides for them.”

Sipes encourages community members to share information and posts about the nonprofit on

Facebook by searching “Worcester GOLD.” There are also sponsorship forms on the organization’s Facebook page.

• American Legion Post #166:

The American Legion Synepuxent Post #166 will be collecting items for military members deployed overseas this holiday season.

Items being collected include food and drinks such as hot or cold powdered mixes, ready-to-eat meals, candy (no chocolate), gum, small packets of ketchup, relish, mustard, salt and hot sauce. Small, hard containers (no bags) of pretzels, chips, nuts, snack cakes, cheese crackers, cookies, energy bars, tuna, sardines and nonperishable beef jerky are also being collected.

In addition, personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, shaving lotion, disposable razors, shampoo, individually wrapped packaged tissues, eye drops, lip balm, lotion, aspirin or other pain relievers, feminine hygiene products and individually packaged baby wipes are also needed. All personal hygiene containers must be travel size and aerosol cans are prohibited.

Clothing items include disposable hand warmers, goggle-size sunglasses, fingerless gloves, stocking caps, 100 percent cotton socks and underwear.

Organizers are also asking for entertainment items including paperback books, current magazines or comic books, crossword puzzles, word searches, jigsaw puzzles, games, foam footballs, basketballs, Frisbees, hacky sacks, playing cards, yo-yos, portable DVD players, CD players, DVDs, CDs and disposable cameras.

In addition, moleskin, medicated foot powder, athlete’s foot ointment, paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, cards, children’s art projects and homemade cookies in air tight containers are also being collected.

All items can be dropped off at the American Legion headquarters located on 24th Street and Philadelphia Avenue, the Boggs-Disharoon Post #123 in Berlin, the Bank of Ocean City in West Ocean City or 59th Street and the Minute Man Press of Ocean City on 120th Street.

In 2016, 300 boxes were sent around the globe and this year, the Connections Club at Stephen Decatur High School has already collected at least 25 cases of items for the initiative and donated money to help with shipping costs, organizer Sarge Garlitz said.

If any items cannot be delivered, call Garlitz at 443-735-1942 or email him at firstsgt166@msn.com.

The boxes will be packed on Sunday, Dec. 3, and shipped on Monday, Dec. 4.

•Toys for Tots:

Last year, the U.S Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program distributed 7,241 toys to 4,074 children locally and there was more than $10,000 in monetary donations to help with this year’s program.

Toys are delivered to children in Ocean City, Berlin, Ocean Pines, Bethany Beach, Dagsboro, Frankford, Selbyville, Dewey Beach and a number of other surrounding beach towns.

“We serve needy children in our area and across the country,” said local Toys for Tots Coordinator John Lowery. “It lets them know they aren’t forgotten at Christmastime. Sometimes parents have to choose between paying the rent, buying food and Christmas presents. We make sure everyone has something at Christmastime.”

During the Holiday Shopper’s Fair at the convention center last weekend, $1,200 was collected, and a sold-out party at Mio Fratello in Selbyville on Route 54 will take place next week benefitting Toys for Tots.

“People have been extraordinary generous this year and it has been wonderful,” Lowery said. “There has been an outpouring of support for this program.”

The first Toys for Tots campaign was conducted in Los Angeles in 1947 and this year more than 700 campaigns will take place throughout the United States.

“This is an opportunity to give generously at this time of year to needy families,” Lowery said. “Look for our collection boxes and cash donation sites.”

There is a Wednesday, Dec. 20, deadline to donate toys. For a list of drop-off locations visit www.toysfortots.org.

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