January 22, 2020

To The Editor,

Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc. (CAADC), a private non-profit corporation, has been assisting families and individuals in Delaware County since 1979.  CAADC provides assistance to over 8,000 clients annually.  Many of these residents were unable to provide for their families during the holiday season.  As we look back on the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays we would like to thank the many County residents who volunteered their time and made contributions to help their less fortunate neighbors.

This year over 500 needy County residents were provided with Thanksgiving dinner and over 400 residents received meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Over 50 volunteers participated in meal preparation and serving the food.  Through the generosity of County residents, 1,190 children received Christmas gifts through our Agency.  Overall the cash/toy donations were valued at nearly $150,000.  Twenty-five (25) different businesses, schools and places of worship served as collection sites for the toy donations while hundreds of County residents also showed their generosity.  These overwhelming efforts are truly a tribute to the caring and generosity of County residents.

The Board of Directors of CAADC is committed to sharing 100% of every dollar collected directly to County residents with no administrative fees charged to these efforts.  Every dollar contributed stays in Delaware County and goes directly to those in need.

Although we were pleased we could serve all 1,190 children, we are saddened that there are that many children in Delaware County that would have missed out on Christmas if not for these efforts.

It is important to remember the challenges faced by the needy during the holidays and throughout the year.  For instance, while we were celebrating the Thanksgiving holidays with family and friends many families and senior citizens in our region spent the holiday without an operable heating system in their homes.  CAADC’s Heating Assistance Program, which serves Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties, has already received 245 requests for heater repair or replacement, including 109 from Delaware County alone.  Over 200 residents, including families with children, spent the holidays in our Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing Facilities.  Fifteen (15) Veterans found themselves requiring housing and employment services.  These are just some of the challenges that our clients face each day.

We recently celebrated our 40th Year Anniversary.  As we look back over the years we have reflected on these challenges plus our many accomplishments.  We have continued to operate three emergency shelter facilities that provide over 700 residents with essential services each year.  We continue to provide information and referral services to over 37,000 individuals annually.  We are able to acquire 40% of our funding from private resources which includes economic development activities, private fundraising, foundations, corporate support, private donations and through utilization of volunteers.

Our Workforce Development Programs, including Welfare to Work Initiatives, secure employment for one person every working day of the year saving the State and Federal governments over $3,000,000 in public assistance.  We provide seniors and families with essential energy services in a five County area through the Weatherization and Crisis programs.  The Weatherization Program last year serviced over 600 households and we assisted over 400 households with heater repair or replacement.  We have also been able to consolidate our services and administration with the establishment of a one-stop-shop for our clients at our Boothwyn Office.

As we enter our next decade, our Agency will continue to aggressively pursue all available resources to continue these programs.  We will also continue to design programs to encourage self-sufficiency such as our Welfare to Work, Case Management, Housing, Financial Literacy and Energy Conservation initiatives.

We would like to thank all of our partners who support our efforts and encourage the community to remember the ongoing needs of their less fortunate neighbors now that the holiday season has passed.

Please visit our website at caadc.org or call 610.833.4442 to assist with our efforts.

Edward T. Coleman, Chief Executive Officer

Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc.