“When you have hundreds of kids on your Christmas gift list, you need all the help you can get,” according to Hugh Brannan, executive director of The Brashear Association. “That’s why Brashear is turning to our friends and neighbors, once again, to help our agency make Christmas brighter for children and families throughout South Pittsburgh.”
For more than two decades, Brashear has provided holiday assistance to countless families. With the current economic downturn, family needs have become even more pressing.
“Among other challenges, families face rising utility costs during the winter months. Already-stretched budgets can’t cover the costs of toys and special holiday meals. We try to provide the boost that makes the holidays happier,” Tracy Frank, a case manager with the agency, noted.
There are many ways to help. Clean out kitchen cupboards and donate non-perishable food items. Neighbors, co-workers, student groups, community organizations, and congregation members can organize food and/or toy drives.
While shopping, an extra toy in the shopping cart will make someone smile on Christmas morning. Monetary donations to Brashear, the KDKA Turkey Drive, and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank are appreciated and essential to the effort. Brashear staff members are willing to provide guidance to organize drives and the agency will pick up large donations whenever possible.
In addition, the public is invited to celebrate the season at Brashear’s annual Holiday Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. at Brashear Center, 2005 Sarah Street. Light refreshments will be served and entertainment will be provided. Donations of toys and food items are welcome and encouraged.
The Holiday Assistance Program serves the communities of Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Knoxville, Mount Oliver, South Side Flats, and South Side Slopes. To register for the Christmas program at this time, participants must visit the Brashear Center at 2005 Sarah Street or the Brashear Neighborhood Employment Center at 730 Warrington Avenue and provide proof of income eligibility, residence within the service area, and household size.
The Brashear Association receives support from the Pennsylvania Neighborhood Partnership Program and the corporate partners of American Eagle Outfitters, Duquesne Light, and UPMC Health Plan. The Holiday Assistance Program has benefited from the support of the Birmingham Foundation, KDKA-TV Turkey Drive through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and the Hunger Trust Fund/City of Pittsburgh as administered by Pittsburgh Community Services.
For more information, visit the agency website at www.brashearassociation.org or call 412-431-2236.