Sussex DSS relies on kindness to help many make it through winter

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: January 16, 2020 | 3:15 p.m.

SUSSEX – The needs are great in Sussex County among people who are hungry or struggling to stay warm, according to Bertha Judge, Director of Sussex County DSS, and often they have to rely on donations to meet the need. 

 “Sometimes you know there’s a need, and you do not have the money in your budget to provide those needs,” she explained. “That’s when donations from caring citizens make all the difference. Gifts of food and coats are often given, and welcome, but there are other ways that caring people who want to make a difference in the lives of neighbors who are struggling can help as well.”

 “In the wintertime,” she continued, “we’ve had one senior person comment that we are doing so many wonderful things for the children that they feel forgotten.  We don’t think often enough of seniors living alone, with no extra money – no anything extra.  We might think that they have family – children – to look after them, but that’s often not the case.  So that’s when donations like hats and gloves are so important. We think of food, but not the little things.  Like hygiene kits – shampoo, feminine products, deodorant, lotion – things of that nature, or a shaving set.  That’s one thing.”

 “The other thing,” she added, “is we have a senior fair that we attend and it would be great to get things that seniors need like hats, gloves, sox, blankets, or lap blankets for keeping their legs warm when sitting down. It would be great if we would be able to help them with things like that.  There is an organization that occasionally sends us a box of knit hats and we’re so appreciative of those – to make sure that people have warm items especially with the cold getting ready to start.  Because everybody can use something like that.”

Frank Lucas and Willie Jackson flank Sussex DSS Director Bertha Judge behind food donation by Jarratt’s Masonic Lodge #158 – one of the donations on which they rely to meet the needs of families who have run out of food

And even though one of the greatest concerns now is dealing with the cold, she said they’re having to think ahead to calls they’ll get in the summer for fans.

 “There are people who have reported that there’s an elderly person they know living in a mobile community, and it is extremely hot in their house,” she related. “So last year we were able to give away all that we had. Now we’re looking for a way to come up with fans or someone or some group that can donate those to help”.

 “I’m not downplaying the needs of anybody,” she added. “I’m just putting it out that there are people who do need things and a little bit goes a long way.”

“One of the things that made me feel so grateful recently is that when we lost our sponsor for the food bank – a church that had been doing it for years was no longer able to bring us food – and I wondered what on earth were we going to do,” she said. “We went months and didn’t get any donations.  Then the county did a food drive and then out of the blue the Masonic Temple from Jarret brought food and then another agency brought food and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, the Lord has provided!’” 

And for anyone who can more easily donate funds to help, Judge said that financial donations are welcome as well.

“And if someone wants to make a specific donation – to contribute funds for food or for fans or for socks or for the Adoption Reunion or anything they feel strongly about,” she said, “we’ll put it in a special account and it will go for what they indicated.  So there really is more than one way to help with an act of kindness.”

What keeps you going is as long as you’re doing everything you can, it helps to feel like people will walk away a little more enriched than they were,” she added. “We keep that positive stand that we’re going to help.”  

For more information, call  434-246-1083.

Copyright 2020 by Womack Publishing
Send Us Your News Tips 

Leave a Reply