HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (11/30/12) – Once again, the Pennyrile Allied Community Services-Hopkins County Assistant Center (PACS) is doing everything they can to raise money for their annual teen shopping program.
Since PACS took over the assistant center in February of 2008, they have exceeded the program’s monetary goal every year.
I spoke with Bobbi Wilcox, the PACS and Community Services Block Grant Coordinator. She informed me about how the teen shopping program works.
“The teen shopping program has been in Hopkins County for over fifty years,” says Bobbi. “Libby Melton started the program and, at that time, the kids only got $25 to spend. When PACS took over the assistant center, we upped it to $100 per child.”
Bobbi receives names for the kids that will be participating through the Family Resource Center.
“We delegate so many slots per school that have children attending ages 13-18,” says Bobbi. “When we took over the assistant center, we promised the Hopkins County Fiscal Court that we would continue doing the programs that the assistant center was already offering, along with what PACS offers.”
PACS doesn’t receive any city, county, state, or federal grants for this program, so they work to raise the money themselves.
“The first year we did this program, my goal was $15,000, and we exceeded that goal,” shares Bobbi. “We upped our goal to $20,000 the following year and we’ve kept it at $20,000, but we have always exceeded that mark. We are hoping we surpass our goal this year as well.”
This year, PACS has given each participating school 30 slots, totaling 180 kids that PACS will be raising money for.
“What I do is send out a mass mailing through ‘snail mail,’” explains Bobbi. “I put it on our Facebook page, too, and that’s actually where we get a lot of our money from.”
Last year, PACS received an astonishing $12,000 in donations from Facebook alone.
“We set aside two nights in the month of December,” says Bobbi. “This year the program will take place on December 17 and 18. We’ll have three schools come one night and three schools the next night. They have to present us with a card or a letter from the Family Resource Center saying that they met the requirements for that particular school.”
Current requirements include attending parent teacher conferences and helping the school by participating in things like fall festivals and school dances.
“On those nights, participants will meet us at Vanity Fair Outlet Mall between 3 and 6:30 PM. They’ll present us with a card from the Family Resource Center and then we will give them a gift card. The gift card provides money for school and church clothes for these kids,” says Bobbi. “Now they have a shoe department as well, and they have name brand shoes, so there is a possibility that they can buy shoes there now too if they want. Erin Clark is the manager at Vanity Fair. Her and her staff are just excellent.”
Bobbi shared a heartwarming story with me about a child who had participated in the program the previous year.
“Last year we had this girl whose mom had dropped her off, and told her she’d be back in a couple hours,” says Bobbi. “She was just grateful. She came out with four or five bags full of clothes, and still had money on her card. She said, ‘My mom always told me to shop the clearance racks before you buy regular priced items. So I’m going to go back in and buy some more stuff.’ That hit home to us. This child deserved that hundred dollars.”
So far, PACS has raised $7,000 for this year’s teen shopping program.
“A lot of businesses donate $100, which sponsors one child,” shares Bobbi. “The largest donations that we’ve ever gotten were from High Tech Chrome Plating and Grease Monkey. They each donated $1,000 to the program at one point.”
PACS is also currently running their Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). They help individuals with low income pay their electric and gas bill. Those interested are asked to bring in their household members’ social security numbers, photo IDs for those 18 and up, income information for those 18 and up, and their most recent bills. PACS will be taking applicants for LIHEAP until the second Friday of December.
The PACS office is open Monday through Friday from 8-11:15 and 12:30-4. The office also has an after hours drop box and tax receipts are available upon request.
“We are taking donations of all kinds - monetary, material, bedding, household items, and clothing,” says Bobbi. “Right now, we are in need of blankets because it has been getting so cold. That is our main thing right now.”
Sugg Street Post
Written by Jessica Dockrey