In the spirit of giving, Help House to open Christmas ‘store’

By Raylene Quaney

Help House’s “Good Sense Budget Course” is to be offered again on Jan. 11 and Jan. 25. The morning session is 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The evening class will be 6-9:30 pm.  Participants must attend both days to complete the course. Upon course completion, participants will be eligible to apply for assistance for help with upcoming winter heating cost.  Osage County residents should call 785-828-4888 to pre-register for the class. There have been seven classes held to date with 38 participants completing the course.

Help House Christmas Store

Anyone in need of assistance for Christmas and who has not registered with either ECAT or ECKAN, may come into the Help House Christmas Store.  It will be open to parents or guardians from Dec. 15 through Dec. 19 during our regular hours. New toys are being collected by the Lyndon Community Business Women’s Association to be given out during this time.

Children may “shop” for their parents or guardians from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. This is extended hours this one day to allow more time for this event. Santa’s elves will be there to wrap the gifts for the children. Help House will not be distributing food or other items after 1 p.m.; this time is for children only.

Holiday hours

Help House will be closed Nov. 25 through Dec. 1 for Thanksgiving, and Dec. 24 through Jan. 4, for Christmas and the New Year, then reopen Jan. 5, 2016.

Special donations

Recently Help House has received some very special donations: Lyndon High School volleyball team had a “servathon” and raised $1,378.16. The Seeker’s youth group from Overbrook United Methodist Church has held fund raisers throughout the year and made a special presentation of $1,500 to Help House at the annual meeting on November 10. The Carbondale Girl Scout Troup collected 282 cans and boxes of food plus $15, while 467 cans of food was donated during the Pomona State Park Haunted Trail event. Lyndon FBLS collected 736 food items, and Relay for Life event held in Osage City collected and donated 383 cans of food. The ladies at the Osage County Senior Center have donated 16 quilts, and $381 has been received from Planet Aid as they give back a portion of what they receive from their donation boxes located at the Thriftway stores in Carbondale and Overbrook. If a Planet Aid drop box is located outside your business you may contact Planet Aid and request they make Help House a recipient of their give back program.

744 helped during October

The total number of households Help House served during the month of October was 222 with a total of 744 individuals.

When you are thinking of estate planning or for a memorial for a loved one, you might want to remember Help House in your giving.

For more information, contact Help House director Pam Bilyeu at 785-828-4888, email [email protected], or see Like us on Facebook at Osage-County-Help-House.

One Response to In the spirit of giving, Help House to open Christmas ‘store’

  1. Wade says:

    It’s important to help out local causes. But just a warning about Planet Aid, the operator of the yellow donation bins for clothes. While the company may in some cases donate winter coats locally, that’s only because most of what they collect is sold — not given — to poor people in Africa and other tropical regions, where coats aren’t needed. So Planet Aid squeezes far more in PR value out of these items by giving them away.

    Planet Aid is not a good charity. The Chicago-based CharityWatch gave the nonprofit an “F” grade after analyzing its 2013 tax form and audited financial statements, determining that Planet Aid spent only 29% of its expenses on programs. As bad as that is, the actual percentage may be far lower than even that, according to a 2009 investigation by WTTG News in Washington DC (see report, at end)

    Worse, Danish prosecutors link Planet Aid to a cult called the Tvind Teachers Group. 5 leaders of the group are Interpol fugitives wanted in their native Denmark in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme.

    The Teachers Group (TG), the controlling body of the broader Tvind organization, is reportedly a political cult based on communist ideology. TG leaders control their followers to an alarming degree, according to ex-members.

    Self-described humanitarian programs run by Tvind-linked groups, many supported by Planet Aid, have been criticized by ex-volunteers as being ineffective, culturally insensitive, environmentally unsustainable and even abusive toward volunteers.

    Similarly, Tvind’s “schools” around the world have elicited many complaints from former students, with allegations ranging from low standards of “training,” to dire living conditions, unreasonable work hours, bullying and even a “cult-like” atmosphere. Some ex-students also claim they were required to beg for money on American or European city streets and were exploited as free labor benefiting TG-owned businesses.

    Most disturbingly, many young TG members and Tvind participants have over the years been raped, injured or killed during ill-advised land and sea excursions. In many of these tragedies, the victims’ families directly blamed senior Tvind officials for knowingly endangering the youths. Tvind has never admitted wrongdoing.

    Sound like a group you’d care to support? You are by giving your stuff to Planet Aid, if Danish authorities are correct. Research before donating, and boycott Planet Aid. Support legitimate, local charities instead. Thanks for the chance to express my opinions.

    Google search these two reports:

    “Kindness into Cash” – exposé of used clothes company Planet Aid – pt. 1
    [Click ‘Show More’ while on that page for more info.]

    Planet Aid's “Recycling” Program, Debunked! – CharityWatch

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