By Rebecca Jones

“Out with the old, in with the new” is a popular phrase heard this time of the year. But, Love INC of Mid-Delmarva is asking for those who can part with certain items to consider donating those items to help those who are in need. Sarah Reighard, Cross Campus Coordinator at Love INC, said they are in dire need of items most people wouldn’t think to donate this time of year. 

“We definitely need adult sized bicycles,” said Reighard. “While walking is a viable means for our neighbors to get to job interviews and jobs, having a bike to ride gives someone a wider reach to obtain employment and get to their jobs on a more regular basis.” To donate a bicycle that may be hanging around in your garage or shed, she did ask that it be in working order.

Some larger-ticket items include tents and sleeping bags. “Unfortunately, not everyone can get into a Code Purple facility, because they fill up fast – especially where we house the men,” she said. Sleeping bags may also be used, but Love INC requests that used sleeping bags and tents be in good working order. Other items to help keep displaced people warm are sweatpants, socks, and gloves, to name a few.

Another item always needed are backpacks or drawstring bags. “Because our neighbors are carrying their entire lives with them, they need the backpacks. People steal their stuff, otherwise,” Reighard noted. 

Also on the list are single-serve snack items, plastic utensils, paper towels, and water. Reighard said that water is needed so that those who are displaced don’t become dehydrated. “We give out water with every lunch and dinner we serve,” she said. Considering they served over a thousand meals in December alone, “We buy an awful lot of water and plastic utensils.”

As the coordinator of day-to-day operations of the Love INC Cross Campus on 703 East King Street, Reighard works with volunteers, interacts with the Connection Center of Love INC on Route 404, and assists those in need. She keeps things running smoothly, from helping neighbors with shower or laundry appointments, scheduling volunteers, and other tasks as they pop up – such as connecting a neighbor with much-needed furniture. 

Reighard said that they are “always in need of volunteers.” Teenagers who wish to volunteer are asked to have an adult with them if under the age of 16. Schools are encouraged to help out at the center at the Cross Building. Senior citizens are asked to spend time there, as well as any able-bodied person.

“We need volunteers to help us sort donations, intake and distribute meals to those in need. We need people to help with Code Purple.” Reighard also said she is able to work with a volunteer’s schedule. “I’ve had some prior volunteers text me out of the blue and say they can help that week.” 

They also have volunteers that help on a regular schedule. “We always have a place for volunteers; we’ll never turn anyone down,” she said.

If a person doesn’t wish to volunteer on-site, but would like to make a meal to take in to feed those in need, Reighard said that anyone planning to do so needs to contact Love INC, and plan to feed up to 40 people. “If anything is left over, it will be served for lunch the next day, or frozen and used for a future meal.”

Drop off donations at 703 East King Street in Seaford, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. To volunteer, contact the Ministry Coordinator at 302-332-1975, or email: ka***@lo******************.org. Reighard also said to go to Love INC’s Facebook page to view stories of those touched by the organization, as well as announcements of needs and volunteer opportunities.