The township police department has brought back its holiday fund and is seeking families in Voorhees, Gibbsboro and Berlin who could benefit this year.
Needy families are being asked to send letters describing their situations and how they would benefit from the fund, along with the number of family members and ages of children. For those who are uncomfortable asking for help or would rather aid someone else, the department accepts recommendations from other families.
The police will collect donations from local businesses and residents and deliver presents to the families.
Police Records Supervisor Stephanie Fowler is the township officer in charge of the fund. All checks and letters of recommendation should be sent to her.
“We receive the family’s wish lists (of gifts). Then we shop (for the families), wrap and deliver if they are okay with that, otherwise (they) can pick it up … We try to keep it in our school district. We try to keep it within Voorhees, Gibbsboro and Berlin Borough,” explained Fowler, who has been the contact person for the 20-plus years the fund has been active.
She emphasized that the police department as a whole contributes to the effort and compared what the department does to giving trees at local schools. Officers do their best to fulfill the children’s requests, which is why gift cards and monetary donations are preferred.
“We try to completely fulfill their wishes,” she noted. “It doesn’t always completely happen, but we try to do the best we can. Some years we have bought computers, iPads, shoes and clothes.
“It’s hard to assign people specific items, so we prefer to give them ideas and ideas of where people shop.”
For more information on the fund, visit the Voorhees police website and Facebook page. Interested parties can also contact Fowler by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (856) 627-5858, ext. 3001.