Archive for Wednesday, December 25, 2002

A time for giving

Basehor-Linwood Assistance Services responds with donations to needy families this holiday season

December 25, 2002

During the last holiday season, approximately nine families in the Basehor and Linwood areas needed help for things such as utility bills, food, clothing and Christmas gifts.

This year, the number of families in need nearly doubled in the area -- 17 requested some kind of assistance -- and the Basehor-Linwood Assistance Services (BLAS) was able to help.

"I think the economy may have had something to do with (the larger number)," BLAS coordinator Debbie Dearinger said. "It seemed like there might have been a lot more layoffs this year."

BLAS is a nonprofit organization composed entirely of volunteers. The organization has been helping needy families in Basehor and Linwood since 1992.

But this year, in particular, the organization and others stepped up to the plate by providing for one of the largest numbers of families the organization has seen since its inception.

"The donations went really good this year," Dearinger said. "This district is very giving. Without the people in Basehor and Linwood, we couldn't have done this."

The donations to BLAS came from residents, organizations and students from Basehor and Linwood, Dearinger said.

"The Lions Club in Basehor and Linwood helped out tremendously," she said. "And there were churches that adopted families.

"BLHS did a toy drive that was a life saver, and a class in all three elementary schools and BLMS adopted a family or person," she added.

With the holidays nearly over, the rough portion of the year is quickly ending for the BLAS organization.

However, there are still families that need help with heating bills. Anyone interested in donating or who knows a family in need should contact BLAS.

BLAS only helps families within the Basehor-Linwood School District, so donations gained locally stay in the area.

"Whatever we get in Basehor and Linwood stays in Basehor and Linwood," Dearinger said.

For more information on the BLAS program, contact Dearinger at (913) 724-1690.

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