OSSINING, N.Y. -- For 99 years, the Baker- Collyer Cheer Fund in Ossining has been assisting those who need it the most.
The fund, which was started in 1915, helps about 370 families each year.
The fund is soliciting donations and food to go into a food basket. The items are packed at the A&P on Pleasantville Road on Dec. 22 and are delivered on Dec. 23.
"We also distribute gift cards to those by themselves," John Crawford, who oversees the fund, said.
The fund was started by an Ossining businessman who noticed kids looking through the garbage for food. Crawford has been involved with the fund for the last 12 years.
"We solicit different business and donations in the Ossining area through a mailing," Crawford said. "A lot of people notice it."
Crawford said they see a lot of the same Ossining families every year, getting referrals from local organizations, food pantries and clergies.
"A lot of these families wouldn't be able to get together if not for the efforts of the community," Crawford said. "They certainly appreciate what the community does."
The Baker Collyer Cheer Fund is 100 percent volunteer with the fire department helping to distribute the food. Crawford said he gets a lot of enjoyment out of organizing the dinner.
"There's a lot of satisfaction in helping people," Crawford, who serves as president of the Ossining Rotary and previously served as fire chief. "I enjoy serving others."
Robert Hooley, Scott Gallery, Amy Kruse, Joyce Cole and Diane Lorenz assist Crawford in planning the dinner.
To donate to the Baker Collyer Cheer Fund send a check to PO Box 508 Ossining, NY 10562 or call or e-mail Crawford at 914-438-9843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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