Feel Good Friday: An Advent Challenge

Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - Leaders at Sylvania Area Family Services (SAFS) recently had an “a-ha” moment, spurring a creative, new way to help neighbors in need this holiday season.

SAFS Community Outreach Coordinator, Mary Helen Darah, said happened while she was at a store.

“It just hit me, because as I’m out shopping, I see all these advent calendars where you can get a little goodie every day,” she explained. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reverse things and have people collect something every day for someone in need?”

Darah said SAFS does not get a steady stream of government funding, so the services depend on fundraising and donations. She compiled a list of suggested items to donate, breaking them down, day-by-day for the month of December. Though everything on the list is edible, hygiene items are always needed and appreciated.

“Those are not covered under any government subsidies,” said Darah. “So things like shampoo, conditioners, toilet paper ... for you and I, that’s just a common everyday purchase. But for someone that’s having financial insecurities, that can be huge.”

Destiny Rogers learned of SAFS through a friend. She told 13abc that getting that occasional assistance was a game-changer for her, and her three children.

“I know it’s hard for a lot of people who do need the help, but don’t want to ask for the help,” Rogers recalled. “Then they feel like they owe you something. I was that way for quite a while.”

Darah says no matter how much a person can give, every little bit truly does help.

“It’s such a misconception that in this area, especially in Sylvania, that there’s no poverty,” Darah said. “But if you do have that misconception, I invite you to come when it’s minus 9 degrees and see a line outside our door.”

To learn more about Sylvania Area Family Services or make a donation, click here.

To submit an idea for “Feel Good Friday with Sashem Brey,” click here.

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