Brashear holiday assistance campaign helped 650 families with food and toys
Last updated 1/10/2017 at 4:37am
In each year for the past seven years, Brashear has consistently provided food assistance and toys to families and children from throughout several South Pittsburgh communities. This year, the agency received requests for food or toys from more than 650 families.
"The services we provide are possible only because of the outstanding commitment from many volunteers as well as the support from a variety of businesses, organizations, and individuals," explained Hugh Brannan, the agency's executive director.
This holiday season, community volunteers were joined by employees from Pusz and Siegel Eye Care Associates to sort, select, and package toys for hundreds of children.
"It's a real challenge to amass the resources to put gifts under the tree for hundreds of South Pittsburgh children. Our Christmas list was a long one but, with the help of many people, we were able to do it," Family Services Coordinator Tracy Frank said.
Once again, Brashear's anonymous "mystery volunteer" returned with his annual collection of several hundred new 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 3,000 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; Butler Gas; BYS Yoga; City Theatre; Duquesne University; Gateway Engineers, Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community; L3 Brashear; LifeSpan Knoxville, and the South Side Market House and Henry Kaufmann Senior Citizens.
More toys and gifts came from: Gerald Lee Morosco, Architects; Mt. Oliver Fire Department, Pittsburgh Christian Fellowship, The South Pittsburgh Reporter, South Side Chamber of Commerce, South Side Community Council, Thick Bikes, UPMC Health Plan, and UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center. Support also came from those who donated to Brashear's Christmas in July Toy Drive.
At Thanksgiving and Christmas, Brashear also distributed food gift cards to hundreds of families. Support for these distributions came from: Birmingham Foundation; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank/KDKA Turkey Fund; and South Side Chamber of Commerce.
Additional underwriting was received from: BYS Yoga, Gateway Engineers, The Honorable Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh Board of Education Food Service Division, Pittsburgh Rugby Association, Pusz and Siegel Eye Care Associates, South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, South Side Community Council, and UUBU 6.
Although the holiday collection was successful, Brashear's food pantries have been depleted by holiday needs. So, toy and food donations will be accepted throughout year and volunteer support is always welcome.
The annual South Side Soup Contest will help support the agency's food programs. The contest will take place on February 18.