By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Voorhees Sun
The Voorhees Police Department is striving to make the holiday season a special time for two families in need of assistance in the township.
Stephanie Fowler, firearms identification clerk, said the department is once again going to be sponsoring several families in Voorhees who need help during the holiday season. So far this year a single mother whose husband passed away and her sixth grade child and another single mother with two young boys will hand over their Christmas lists to the department.
“It’s a fund raiser we started in 2001 to help families in the holiday season that are having financial hardship, whether through illness or loss of employment,” Fowler said. “This year we’re taking on two families to help.”
More families could be included in the next few weeks, Fowler said, as the police department has sometimes helped out more than four or five families at a time.
Donations for the program come from members of the township, but the majority of the funding comes from local businesses and retailers, Fowler said.
Typically the program brings in about $2,500 for each family it sponsors during the holidays, she said.
In the past, donations from the business sector have been anywhere from $25 to $5,000, depending on the company, Fowler said.
“It varies drastically from year to year, but we usually get at least $2,500 for families. Whatever we have left over after we buy the gifts from the lists, we either give them in gift cards or help them in bills or groceries,” she said. “We ask the children to give us the full list, not to hold back, and we try to get everything on that list. Nowadays with video games it can add up really quickly. This is the time of year that families really start coming in, so we always need help from the public.”
Residents, though, can also donate to the program, Fowler said.
Any amount of money is useful for the families who need help to give their children a good holiday, she said.
“There are a lot of people that go above and beyond. We do get some residents and anything that comes in we’re thankful for,” Fowler said.
Interested donators can call Fowler at the police department at 627–5858 ext. 162. People can also stop by the police department on 1180 White Horse Road to drop off checks, she said.