To The Editor,
There were many families and seniors in need during the recent Thanksgiving holiday.  Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc. (CAADC), a local non-profit social service organization, helped many Delaware County residents that would not have had a Thanksgiving meal if not for our assistance and other community support.  Many local businesses, churches, synagogues, mosques, schools and individuals donated food and money to help assure that these families were fed during the holiday and we really appreciate the help.  CAADC was able to provide 200 turkeys and all the fixings to local households.  In addition, our Feeding Program at the Life Center of Eastern Delaware County provided 350 dinners to homeless and economically disadvantaged residents on Thanksgiving Day.

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 operates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Crisis Program.  LIHEAP provides Crisis grants for households that are in immediate danger of being without heat.  This program is funded and administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Our Agency administers the LIHEAP Crisis program in Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.  The program opened on November 1st and to date we have received 158 requests for assistance with heater repair or replacement.  In Delaware County alone 72 requests have been received from residents with no heat.

CAADC also administers the federally funded Weatherization Program.  The Weatherization Program provides a cost-effective permanent solution for reducing the heavy energy burden on low-income Americans.  The program provides quality energy education and home conservation modifications such as insulation and weather stripping and caulking.  Funding for this program is provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.  This year alone CAADC has provided Weatherization services to over 518 families and senior citizens in the region.

As temperatures continue to plummet, the need for these services will increase exponentially.

In addition, as Christmas approaches we are preparing to provide for an estimated 1,500 children in Delaware County.  This effort is made possible through the generosity of local business that have toy barrels for donations, schools that collect gifts, our adopt-a-family program, churches, synagogues, mosques, private individual donations, etc.  It is truly a community effort that allows us to keep the holidays special for so many children that may be homeless, residing in a transitional housing program or are from a family facing financial difficulties.  In addition, many children are those residing with grandparents.

During this season of joy and celebration it is important to continue to remember our less fortunate neighbors.  We would again like to thank all who contribute their time and resources to make the holidays a little brighter for those who find themselves in difficult times.

We also encourage others from the community to support these efforts during the holidays and throughout the year.  We would not be able to accomplish all that we do without the support of generous Delaware County residents, business, churches, mosques, synagogues, schools and organizations.  Please contact us at (610) 833-4442 with any questions or if you would like to help.

Edward T. Coleman, Chief Executive Officer
Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc.