DERRY — The holidays are over, but the need to help others continues.
Many local organizations found seasonal donations were down from last year. They are starting the new year with long wish lists from people still needing help.
The Derry News Santa Fund has spent more than 20 years working to raise money to support local holiday efforts in both Derry and Londonderry.
This season, the Santa Fund fell short of its $20,500 goal, raising only $13,840.
It’s a blow to the longtime effort, fund administrator Cathy Dicampo said, when so many people depend on the support.
“I’m hoping that people donated to other causes, like the soup kitchen or Derry Community Fund,” she said. “That would be my hope.”
Maryanne Taylor of the Community Fund said that group had a successful season, but the list of people needing assistance always grows longer.
The Community Fund distributes food at Thanksgiving and toys at Christmas. But the need is a year-long thing, Taylor said.
“And it’s amazing how people pull together,” she said. “We do have a cushion and it always works out in the end, one way or another.”
People who visit the thrift shop at the Marion Gerrish Community Center are not only looking for a bargain, but they are generous with donations, too.
With the holiday rush over, it’s time to restock the shelves, staff say. The shop always needs donations. Proceeds from sales there support the upkeep and care of the community center on West Broadway.
Lynn Donahue works at the thrift shop. She said all types of donations are welcome, not only clothing, but toys and household items.
She said people care a lot about the center and love to help. Right now, there is a need for more cold weather clothing like coats and boots.