AARP chapter donates to several organizations

The AARP’s South Coastal Chapter 5226 held their December luncheon meeting at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club last week and gave donations to several local organizations, including Meals on Wheels, the South Coastal Library, the Millville Volunteer Fire Company EMS and the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula, to name a few.

Sue Keefe, director of the South Coastal Library, thanked the AARP members for their donation, saying any extra money they receive “is going straight into the children’s collection.”

Don Wood, representing CHEER and its Meals on Wheels program, thanked the group, saying “you outdo yourself each year.” The AARP Tour Committee also donated to Meals on Wheels.

Jim Harding, second vice president and a member of the tour committee, explained that they make a small profit off of all the trips that AARP has planned throughout the year, and all that money goes back to charity. The Tour Committee also gave donations to the Food Bank of Delaware, Millville EMS and the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Ron McCreary of the Red Cross asked that everyone keep in mind the people that are “still not back to normal” from what’s been called “Superstorm” Sandy.

“Keep them in mind and say a prayer for them,” he said, adding, “We couldn’t do it without you.”

He explained that the Red Cross is still helping people in New York and New Jersey recover from Sandy and they are “slowly getting back to normal.” He added that, in Delaware, during Sandy, the Red Cross had 25 shelters, housing 1,900 people. “We served 10,000 meals and snacks, and gave out 500 clean-up kits.”

He said all of the American Red Cross’s emergency response vehicles, or ERVs, were deployed to the affected areas and, in total, had 150,000 shelter stays in the tri-state area.

Harding interjected, saying that two years ago, he was “so impressed” with the Red Cross after he and his wife had to stay at the shelter at Indian River High School during Hurricane Irene.

“People who needed it had their oxygen, they fed us... We were really pleased ... and so impressed with what they do.”

John Watson of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company EMS thanked the AARP for their donation, saying the EMS “is the fire department,” and they have responded to about 1,600 calls so far this year.

“We have nine [EMS] employees and 12 volunteers, and we rely on the donations to keep our budget workable,” he said, adding that their budget is about $700,000 per year.

Food Bank representatives also thanked the AARP, saying their donations will be put to good use in helping the one in four Delawareans that will rely on the Food Bank for assistance to put food on the table throughout the year.