Embracing A Season Of Giving To Help Those In Need

JackKillionBy Jack Killion, Mayor of Pennsauken Township

The holidays are truly a special time of year. It’s an opportunity to come together and celebrate with family and friends. And while we focus on spending time with our loved ones, we also look to help those in our community who are in need. It’s a season of giving, something that Pennsauken truly embraces.

Every year, our Township has its Angel Tree program, where toys are collected for dozens of families in Pennsauken that would normally do without on Christmas morning. The volunteers who drop off the toys say that the expressions on the faces of parents, grandparents and guardians who know that their children will have presents to open under the tree are truly priceless.

Then there’s the effort of our police, who have partnered with their fellow officers in Merchantville to host a winter clothes drive. If the weather forecasters are to be believed, we’re looking at another cold, blustery winter. And if we have any type of snow similar to last year, having winter coats, hats and gloves are essential articles of clothing. Can you imagine having to face the ice and cold without a warm coat? And there are people in our community who go without that coat so their children can be warm on their way to the school bus. These are basic human needs that are being met through this donation drive; if you can, please do what you can to support this cause.

We also have a wide variety of community groups and churches that help the needy feed their families, not just during the holidays, but on a daily basis. We have the Food Bank of South Jersey in our backyard, which helps over 200,000 people who have no idea where their next meal is coming from. There are many food drives this time of year, collecting canned goods and nonperishable food items to make sure that children, adults and seniors don’t go hungry.

I’d like to encourage all of our residents and businesses to take advantage of this season of giving. There’s a lot of ways you can do it. Make a donation to a charity you support. Donate clothes or canned goods to help the needy. Support the Angel Tree Program. Try being a volunteer. Sometimes giving the gift of your energy and effort makes all the difference in the world.

When you give of yourself, you get back much more than you give. You’ll also never know how far your generosity will reach. Your neighbor or your friend might just be the person that you help.

Giving is also contagious. Your generosity can inspire others in your community to do the same. And a charitable work you do during the holidays might start something you’ll want to do all year round.

In closing, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for allowing me to be your mayor this year. It is an honor to serve the people of Pennsauken as a member of Township Committee. My fellow Committee members are an amazing group of people, and I’m truly privileged to work with such great and talented people who have a strong desire to make Pennsauken an even greater place to live and work.

On behalf of myself as your mayor, the members of Township Committee, and the entire administration of Pennsauken, I wish you and your family a happy and joyous holiday season and a wonderful start to the new year.

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