Dover veterans step up to help downtown families as needs rise, holidays approach
Since many children were not celebrating the holidays in school this year, veteran Kim Petters said it was on her heart to help bring some cheer to the families in downtown Dover.
"For some of them, the classroom party is the only time they're going to see a candy cane," she said.
As soon as she got together with fellow veteran and small business owner Sam Chick, she said she couldn't sleep with the anticipation of doing something special for the kids.
Together, Chick, Petters and Dover Councilman David Anderson organized a toy and cookie giveaway Monday evening at the parking lot at 120 S. Governors Avenue, across from the downtown Dover Fire Department.
The three veterans collected about 90 toys to give out to families, and Petters baked dozens of cookies that filled a large plastic bin.
Families arrived as soon as the giveaway started at 4 p.m., and after only 20 minutes, the car trunk that had been overflowing with colorful toys, puzzles and books had only a scattered handful left. Many visitors left with a smile after a volunteer handed them a bag of cookies.
Councilman David Anderson, Fourth District, said he knew more families were in need this year as many people struggled with job losses or reduced hours. With fewer shoppers visiting stores, organizations like the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots are also struggling to meet this increasing need.
"That's why we're here," Anderson said.
They wanted to do something, however small, to help their neighbors, and, as Petters said, they're looking forward to planning an even bigger giveaway next year.