Mayor helping with drive for those in need
Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward is lending his office to an effort to help community families in need during the holiday season.
For the first time in recent memory, Ward has initiated the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Project, which will collect food and presents for those in the community experiencing hard times. The mayor said he was partnering with the Good Shepherd Thrift Store and Food Pantry and the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce in the project.
Ward said he was attempting to increase the scope of efforts Good Shepherd Thrift, Bichelmeyer’s Steakhouse and others have provided in past years.
“My wife (Amy) and I in years past have worked with a number of different groups who tried to take care of families in need during the holidays,” he said. “I just felt like we had an opportunity to provide additional support to the thrift store and raise awareness for people who might need additional support throughout the year.
“We’d also like to get more people involved. I know there are a lot of people who aren’t aware of the programs the thrift shop has.”
The effort will get under way at the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday. Canned goods and other non-perishable will be collected at the event and at participating businesses through Dec. 11.
Donations of non-perishable food items, cash or gift certificates can be made at the Good Shepherd Thrift Store during regular business hours.
Those who prefer to give gifts can contact the Good Shepard Thrift Store for family “wish lists.” All personal information concerning donors and family remains confidential.
All donations to the project will be delivered to and distributed by the Good Shepherd Thrift Store.
Shirley Sheaffer, one of four Good Shepherd managers, said the store was already receiving requests from families to be placed on the list. Need had increased with the struggling economy, she said.
“I would say it has,” she said. “We’ve had more request for help.”
Those dropping donations at the store are asked to leave them during store hours of 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, Sheaffer. She asked especially that nothing be left outside the shop when it was closed, a practice that is a source of frustration for Good Shepherd.
Those wanting to adopt families can call Good Shepherd at (913) 845-3964.