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The Suburbanite
  • Springfield Cares helping families this holiday season

  • Springfield Cares has hung a figurative “Help Wanted” sign. The 15 members anticipate helping 60 or more families during the holiday season, and whether people can donate food, gifts, money or time, the organization will take it.

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  • Springfield Cares has hung a figurative “Help Wanted” sign. The 15 members anticipate helping 60 or more families during the holiday season, and whether people can donate food, gifts, money or time, the organization will take it.
    The concept of Springfield Cares began in 2005 through the Community Policing Division of the Springfield Police Department and several staff members of Springfield Schools.
    The schools and police department continue to take active roles in helping the organization help others. Each school holds a food drive, some have giving trees and students from the high school help sort canned goods. In the elementary schools, students hold pajama day and hat day fundraisers, and the donations go to Springfield Cares. At Spring Hill, functions such as volleyball games between students and staff members are held as fund raisers.  
    On the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, Springfield police officers and volunteer officers were stationed outside WalMart on Arlington Road collecting donations of money, new toys, new clothes and non-perishable food items to help kick off the season of giving with the Fill A Cruiser program. All those donations go to Springfield Cares. Volunteer Al Morhidge said that even on during a cold day, people were opening up their hearts, giving and sharing with others.
    “This is our biggest fundraiser, and we are thankful for everything we receive,” said officer Perry Linaburg, one of the founders of Springfield Cares.
    The organization tries to make sure that each family has a turkey, food items, an outfit for each child and a few toys. Springfield Cares President Nancy Rodrigues said adopting a family is another way to give. Many local residents, churches, organizations and businesses adopt a family. Springfield Cares provides the food, and those adopting families provide outfits and toys for the children in the family.
    “We have a representative in each school that has suggestions of those they think might need a little help,” Rodrigues said. “Those adopting a family only know boy, girl, the ages and a wish list,” she said.
    Families do not have to have school-aged children to receive help. A parent can go into one of the schools and ask for the Springfield Cares application.
    “A lot of people are out of work, some due to job loss, some due to cancer treatment and illnesses and they have had some bad luck this year,” Rodrigues said. “We hope to provide a little Christmas when the parents are not able to. There are a lot of generous people throughout Springfield and Lakemore.”
    There will be a fundraiser at Wing Warehouse, 2215 E. Waterloo Road on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and the money goes to purchase gifts for children.
    On the wish list for Springfield Cares are gift cards to places where kids can shop such as JC Penney, Walmart and Target, monetary donations, non-perishable food items and new toys.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This has really, really grown. I get calls from other communities, but we can only help those in Springfield and Lakemore,” Rodrigues said. “That is how we accept our donations. People donate on the premise that it is staying in the two communities.”
    Springfield Cares also tries to help seniors with food items.
    Those wishing to help Springfield Cares donations need to be in by Dec. 19, and donations can be dropped off at any Springfield school building. For more information, call 330-322-8999.

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