By Betsy Natter
The spirit of giving is perhaps most often expressed during the Christmas holiday season as people share gifts with not only family and friends but often with those in need as well. Yet, this Delaware Valley charity provides assistance and care not only during the festive giving season, but all year round through its many programs.
The Delaware Valley Children’s Charity is a not for profit organization dedicated to helping children and families in need by providing assistance throughout the year in the form of clothing, school supplies, diapers, food and housing needs and much more. Five children were delivered toys and necessities during the first Holiday Program in 1986. Thirty-one years later the program has grown and this year is serving nearly 7,000 children by delivering toys, clothing and hope.
Children’s wish list requests are typical items such as bikes, dolls and toys, but many also ask for grocery store gift cards for their Mom or a winter coat for their sibling. As the organization shares on their website, “Such basic needs become priorities to kids who experience “going without” each day of their lives.”
Each year hundreds of volunteers collect donations which are then delivered to families who have been identified with specific needs. The charity works in conjunction with nearly three dozen human services organizations throughout the Delaware Valley who each make their client’s needs known and request assistance on their behalf. Volunteers then work to pack 24, seven-foot moving trucks with gift-wrapped packages to be delivered to agencies throughout the area for final distribution.
The team of individual and corporate volunteers are committed to their task despite whatever winter weather may come their way. Many remember the delivery day back in 2002 when a winter storm began to brew what ended in 9” of snow! Yet, every delivery goes through.
Many years ago the charity quickly learned that needs exist all year long so by 1991 the organization’s vision had grown and it officially organized as a not for profit to meet needs throughout the year with the implementation of several programs. Their Mommy and Me program provides the basics for new mothers and their babies. Children receive the necessary school supplies, a backpack or a new outfit through the Back to School Program and Good Grades for Great Kids is a merit based incentive program to encourage young students to do well in school.
Most kids love summer camp and now many can attend when it might not otherwise be possible. DVCC works with camps at the Upper Main Line YMCA and Camp Books ‘n Hoops at Neumann University. Additional programs such as The Birthday Club allow children to celebrate their birthday with a party, perhaps for the first time. And coming again in the Spring of 2018 a special workshop filled with tips, information and encouragement for moms will be offered.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child during this year’s Holiday Program, there is still time but you must act quickly. All gifts must be dropped off by end of day on Tues., Dec. 5th. Contact the organization directly by phone at (610) 344-9311 or visit the website at dvcconline.org for more details.