President Rod introduced today’s speaker, Delight Creech, Executive Director of the Associated Charities of Lenawee County. The agency has been operating for the past 103 years, she said, and is the only non-profit in the county that gives away everything free (clothing, healthcare items, furniture and appliances) to low income families thanks to donations from the public! The agency does not receive any state or federal funding, Delight said.

She thanked members for volunteering each year to help pack food boxes. The agency just gave away over 460 back packs to school children. Each child also received two outfits of clothing as well. She encouraged members to think of Associated Charities when they go to clean out their closets this fall and anything they wished to discard should first go to them! If it is a furniture item that someone was looking to trash, she said they would be happy to send a truck over to pick it up for them so they could give it away to someone in need.

The agency’s Keep Lenawee Warm program, she said, was fast approaching. When it kicks off in October, it will not be limited to just low income individuals but rather anyone needing a winter coat. Thanks to WLEN, collections will be at First Federal, Dave Knapp Motors and WLEN Radio. Coats collected this month will be cleaned by Adrian Dry Cleaners free of charge so they are ready to go! Collections include blankets as well, Delight said.

Delight said that on an average day some 50 families shop at their store. The week before last,however, there were a record number of families in a one day period – 112! Thanks to recent remodeling, the store now displays clothing on racks and other ammenities. The agency is seeing a growing number of senior citizens at their store as well as families who are working multiple part-time jobs at minimum wage and little if any benefits, she said. Current needs include all kinds of children’s clothing and toys, suits for men, non-perishable food items and appliances. They do not take any upholstered furniture but items like tables that are stackable.

The agency’s Christmas program in December (food baskets and toys) happens to be their largest, she said. Many of the donations in the Toys-for-Tots bins around the city end up at Associated Charities and parents are able to go in and choose what they want and receive a food basket as well.

Delight concluded her presentation saying that the agency is always in need of volunteers for morning or afternoon hours. Please call her directly if you can help a couple of hours.