Citizens show how to share

BRANDON TOWNSHIP – For months, talk show economy experts claimed the nation’s economic security is on the brink of despair.
According to the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund Christmas donation statistics, however, residents of this community do not buy into the experts’ claims.
“We had about 130 families registered [for assistance] this year,” said Heidi Ray, OCEF public relations director.
While the family register was up from 80 families last year, so too were the number of volunteers and gift donations, Ray said.
“At first we were worried, but the volunteers stepped up to the plate,” she said. “We were very happy with the way it all turned out.”
Coordinating nearly 170 volunteers over a four-day period were Phyllis Barnwell and Karyn Milligan.
Community donation statistics seem to conflict with what some believe is the current economic wisdom:
·OCEF donations clothed and supplied toys to more than 236 children, disbursing more than 1,098 toys.
·184 books and crayons
·368 stocking stuffers
·184 hats and mittens
·368 miscellaneous personal items
·1,400 wrapped gifts
·7,560 pounds of food
·130 turkeys
While OCEF did well meeting the needs of the community, other local charity drives experienced similar success.
“We did very well with our coat drive at Real Estate One,” said secretary Lori Koontz. “We filled one and a half St. Vincent DePaul delivery vans.”
According to Brandon Fire Chief Bob McArthur, department employees donated more than $700 of their own money to the Share & Care program through St. Anne’s Catholic Church. The department also donated more than three truck loads of toys to OCEF. Firefighters also collected, and put together, 77 fruit baskets for adult foster care.
Township clerk, treasurer, and building department employees all contributed cash donations for the Share and Care program, which is a fund used to assist people in need throughout the year.