January 2, 2013 | Vol. 73 No. 23

Brashear holiday assistance campaign a success, but need continues

The Brashear Association, a South Pittsburgh community service agency, continued to set new records of service during its recent holiday assistance campaign, providing food assistance and toys to more families and children than the agency has ever served before.

Throughout the holiday season, volunteers strengthened the agency’s efforts. Led by Nicole Frankhouser, a team of volunteers from Del Monte sorted, selected, and bagged toys for hundreds of children. In an all-day intensive effort, the Del Monte volunteers completed the tasks that usually take two to three days.

Another volunteer effort merits recognition but the volunteer chooses to remain anonymous. This “mystery volunteer” collected and donated more than 350 beautiful toys from the bingo players at Bishop Canevin High School and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Over the past several years, this effort has generated more than 1,000 toys and gifts for kids.

The agency also received donations of toys and gifts from other sources. The Marines Toys for Tots Program, with volunteers from Pittsburgh Cares, provided hundreds of toys. Other toy and gift donors included: Akustica, Incorporated; American Society of Civil Engineers/Young Members Forum; Birmingham Foundation; Butler Gas; Duquesne University; Greek Catholic Union Lodge 28; Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community; Market House Senior Citizens; and, Pittsburgh Phillips K-5.

More toys and gifts came from: Pittsburgh Cares, South Side Chamber of Commerce, South Side Community Council, Spotlight Costumes, UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center, and UPMC Presbyterian-Unit 4G as well as those who donated to the Christmas in July Toy Drive. Because of this outpouring of support, the agency was able to reach hundreds of children.

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, Brashear also distributed food gift cards to hundreds of families. Support for these distributions came from: ALDI, Incorporated; Arlington Civic Council; Birmingham Foundation; Duquesne University Office of Volunteers; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank/KDKA Turkey Fund; and Wyatt, Incorporated.

Other food donations were provided by The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, Greek Catholic Union Lodges 28 and 437, Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community and Pittsburgh Phillips K-5.

Additional underwriting was received from: Birmingham Foundation, BoRics on South Side, Siegel Eye Care Associates, and South Side Community Council. Utrecht Art Supplies sponsored a special holiday promotion to raise funds to support Brashear’s art programs for children.

Despite the successes of the 2012 holiday season, Brashear is still struggling to meet the needs of many low-income families. Toy and food donations will be accepted all year and volunteer support is always needed.

The annual South Side Soup Contest will help support the agency’s food programs. The contest will take place on February 16, 2013 from noon until 3 p.m.

The Brashear Association encourages donations through the Contributor Choice option of the United Way; our agency code is 063. For more information on the agency and its programs and services, call 412-431-2236.

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