In each year for the past five years, Brashear has consistently provided a greater level of food assistance and toys to more families and children.
“Brashear could not provide these services without the substantial help from volunteers and incredibly generous donations from all segments of the community,” according to Hugh Brannan, the agency’s executive director.
This holiday season, a team of volunteers from Del Monte sorted, selected, and bagged toys for hundreds of children. In a few hours, the Del Monte volunteers completed the tasks that usually take an entire day.
Joining the crew from Del Monte, Brashear’s “mystery volunteer” returned to collect and donate several hundred beautiful toys and gifts 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 1,500 toys and gifts for kids.
The agency also received donations of toys and gifts from other sources. The Marines Toys for Tots Program, with extraordinary volunteers from Pittsburgh Cares, provided hundreds of toys. Other toy and gift donors included: Akustica, Incorporated; American Society of Civil Engineers/Young Members Forum; ampd Group; Butler Gas; BYS Yoga; Duquesne University (DU) Offices of Public Affairs and Volunteers; Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community; Kukurin Chiropractic; Market House Senior Citizens; and Pittsburgh Phillips K-5.
More toys and gifts came from: RE360, Incorporated; Rothman Gordon, PC; South Side Chamber of Commerce; South Side Community Council; Spotlight Costumes; UPMC Health Plan; UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center; and UPMC Presbyterian 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: Arlington Civic Council; Birmingham Foundation; City Theatre; Duquesne University (DU) Office Volunteers; DU A. J. Palumbo School of Business Administration; DU Occupational Therapy Student Association; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank/KDKA Turkey Fund; and Wyatt, Incorporated. Other food donations were provided by Greek Catholic Union Lodges 28, Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, and Pittsburgh Phillips K-5.
Additional underwriting was received from: Birmingham Foundation, BYS Yoga, McGee Maruca and Associates, Michael Baker Corporation Foundation, Modern Reproductions, PNC Bank, Siegel Eye Care Associates, South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, South Side Community Council, Thomas J. Gmiter Funeral Home, and United American Savings Bank.
Despite the successes of the 2013 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 22.
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.