Pat Moulder, chairperson for the Millville Volunteer Group, stood up at the Tuesday, Dec. 11, Millville Town Council meeting and started down a list that makes the Twelve Days of Christmas look like a fortune cookie.
“I just want the council to know all the cool stuff we do,” Moulder said before she began running through her list of the group's activities.
“We are very involved in the Sussex County foster-child program,” Moulder said. The group provides area foster children with backpacks filled with essentials and comfort items to help them make transitions to new foster homes, Moulder said.
“I don't know if you're aware,” Moulder said, telling the council and residents that, often, “the child is given a black trash bag and told, ‘Put your life in here, we're leaving in 10 minutes.' So we made backpacks with a fleece throw, a toothbrush, toothpaste, some soap, an activity book” — 38 backpacks last year, to be exact, she said. That program was so successful that a local company has now taken it over.
The group also filled 700 Easter eggs with candy for foster children, with donated eggs from the Atlantic Community Thrift Shop (ACTS) and the Millville Volunteer Fire Company, and candy donated by members of the Millville Volunteer Group themselves.
In addition, the group has put together “welcome bags” for new residents, Moulder said. For many years, the volunteer group has also helped the Town send out its tax bills, which has gotten to be a much bigger job with the town's recent growth spurt.
In August, the group completed a school-supply drive at Hocker's SuperCenter in Clarksville, with the supplies delivered to the Pyle Center in Roxana, to go to area students, Moulder said.
Another successful collection was done for Stockings for Soldiers, Moulder said.
“We collected so much stuff we asked Debbie [Botchie, town manager] if Eric [Evans, town code and building official] could take us over in the truck” to deliver the items to the collection spot in Georgetown, she said. “We had a whole truckload,” she said.
The group also helps with setup, staffing and takedown, as well as flier distribution, for Town events, such as the Great Pumpkin Festival and the recent Holiday Market, as well as other community events, including a Business After Hours event at Lord's Landscaping and the Ocean View Police Department's Cops & Goblins event at John West Park.
Around the town hall, the group decorates the Town Christmas tree and logs quite a few hours doing general office work for the Town.
“We have dedicated office volunteers — you've got to understand that,” Moulder said. “I call them my usual suspects, because they're the ones that come in and do everything.”
She added that, as with many groups, there is a core of volunteers who do the bulk of the work, and she asked the town council, as well as the residents at the meeting, for help.
“I do have a problem,” Moulder said. “We need volunteers. If you have any ideas, please let me know.”
Mayor Robert Gordon said he sympathized with Moulder's plea.
“People don't realize how many people it takes” to make programs successful, Gordon said.
The Millville Volunteer Group is a partner with Delaware 50+, a statewide program offered through the state Office of Volunteerism. It is open, as the name implies, to residents who are 50 or older. The mission of Delaware 50+ is to meet critical community needs while uniting citizens by bringing communities together.
For more information, call the town hall at (302) 539-0449, send an email to Millville@mvtown.com or go to the town website, www.millville.delaware.gov or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/townofmillville.
By Kerin Magill