Helping Center needs blankets

MaryLynn Lufkin, Catholic Charities Helping Center director, said last week the center is in desperate need of blankets for families in need. Donations may be dropped off at the center at 409 N. Adams in Sallisaw between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Some of the shelves and clothing racks are empty at Catholic Charities Helping Center in Sallisaw.

MaryLynn Lufkin, Helping Center coordinator, said last week, “We need blankets badly. All we have is one quilt left and six blankets.”

The center, which provides non-denominational help to all those in need, also needs men’s clothing.

Lufkin added, “For some reason we don’t get a lot of men’s clothing or shoes donated. We have lots of women’s clothing.”

Lufkin explained that blankets are always on the most-needed list when fall and winter arrive.

“We try to make sure that families have a blanket for every bed in the home. We need warm blankets,” Lufkin said, adding, “Oh my, we get a lot of requests for blankets, a couple hundred a week easy.”

About the need for men’s clothing, Lufkin explained that men who seek assistance at the Helping Center are allowed to take five changes of clothing.

Clothing donations that are cleaned and ready to wear help the Helping Center’s volunteer staff immensely, Lufkin said. But even if the donations are not clean, the volunteers will wash and get the clothing ready to for new owners.

“If it wasn’t for the volunteers, we couldn’t do the clothing,” Lufkin said. “God has made us just an exchange really, between donors and those in need.”

Lufkin urged those who may be cleaning for the holidays to donate their unused items.

“We can help them declutter their homes,” she said, grinning.

Donations may be dropped off at the center at 409 N. Adams. Lufkin said donations may be made between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Donors may also leave donations at the back door during those hours, but must knock loudly to get the attention of the volunteers.

The center is open to those in need from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Other items always on the needed list are diapers, especially large diapers; children’s clothing of all sizes; coats and hoodies, which are popular with teens; and canned foods of all kinds. The center will be preparing food baskets for the Christmas holiday.

Cash is also a great donation. Lufkin said that cash donations are used to purchase canned foods at a Tulsa food bank.

Cash donations, and all donations, are tax deductible, and may also be sent to the Helping Center at P.O. Box 1321, Sallisaw, Okla. 74955.

Lufkin said the Helping Center helped 575 families in October with food, clothing and other needs. Those 575 families were the high for this year, she said, explaining that the cold weather and the start of the school year are usually the reasons assistance is requested in the fall.

For more information about the Helping Center call (918) 775-6111.

Posted on December 5, 2012 by Sally Maxwell, Sequoyah County Times

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