FOP issues challenge to area organizations to match holiday gift
One local organization is hoping that others follow its example during this holiday season.
The Bonner Springs Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police this week gave a donation of $300 to Vaughn-Trent Community Services, which will be put toward the human services agency’s annual fund drive. The lodge said it made the donation with the hope that other organizations would take note and see it as a challenge to match or exceed the donation.
“There’s a lot of community-minded organizations in Bonner Springs, and if they are looking for something to do, we would encourage them to look at our example,” said Andy Bair, president of the lodge.
The challenge would be of help to the organization, which struggled last year to raise funds at the same level of previous years. Its annual end-of-the-year fund drive began Nov. 15 and helps the agency in its year-round efforts to provide utility, clothing and pantry assistance to Bonner and Edwardsville residents in need.
Carol Geary, director of Vaughn-Trent, said last year’s fund drive raised just $19,000, compared to the previous year’s total of about $23,000. She said fundraising was going well so far this year, so she hoped they could meet the 2009 amount once again with the help of organizations like the FOP.
The Fraternal Order of Police usually adopts one or two families to provide Christmas gifts and a meal at this time of the year. But this year, Bair said the FOP wanted to do more to help Vaughn-Trent, as the organization helps so many people and is one that police officers often use when they come across those in need.
The lodge has charitable activities year-round, such as building the police memorial wall at the police station at the beginning of the year and donating 20 book bags to Bonner Springs Elementary School at the start of the school year.
Though it has only 22 members, Bair said the lodge thought it was important to donate as much as possible in this season of giving.
“I think it shows a great commitment to the community that they make this kind of sacrifice,” he said.
Bair said he hopes other organizations see that even a small group can band together and help Vaughn-Trent.
Those interested in making a fund drive donation, which is tax deductible, can make a check payable to Vaughn-Trent Community Services. Checks may be mailed to Vaughn-Trent, P.O. Box 75, Bonner Springs, KS 66012; or left at the Bank Midwest in Edwardsville or Union Bank and Trust in Bonner Springs.