Charitable organizations in the Pocono Mountains are working to meet the needs of the community this holiday season.
Each year the call goes out across the Poconos for giving to those in need especially around the holiday season. And each year, the need is greater. Charities such as the Pocono Mountains United Way support many other nonprofits and programs. There are toy drives and meal distributions and each year there are also red kettle ringers for the Salvation Amy as well as one radio personality who showers in the cold for kids.
Even before December arrives the bell ringers are out in force across the Pocono Mountains. And for one cold December day, so is Michael G. Stanton showering for charity in Honesdale. Both charity efforts have been making a difference for decades!
“I stand outside in a claw tub in boxer shorts on Main Street,” said Stanton with Bold Gold Media. “I will stay in there until we raise $20,000 or until as I say my lips turn blue and they tell me I have to get out.”
Stanton takes a cold shower for the Wayne County Children's Christmas Bureau getting a boost from sponsors and each and every penny donated during the hours-long charity shower sometimes in the frigid cold.
“There are times when it's in the teens .I will stay there until we raise $20,000 I have never gotten outwhen we haven't raised the money. Even with ice in my hair,” he said.
No matter snow or ice, the Salvation Army puts out the call for volunteers to ring in the season of giving - taking donations at locations across the region! Eight hours a day right up until Christmas Eve.
“That's a lot of hours covering lots of stores. We need lots of volunteers to keep that going. Even if they have a couple hours.. that's helpful to keep that covered,” said Major John Wheeler with the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army.
“The Salvation Army kettle started in 1981 in San Francisco, they were trying to feed about 25,000 people Christmas dinner. Since then we've been doing kettles. But since then what we do has changed. It's not just about the food anymore. It's about shelter and toys and other things we take care of. The need is great so we keep putting the kettles out.”
Whether it's volunteers ringing the bell for donations or a frosty shower outside in the elements, these charities know why they work so hard to provide help to others now and all year long.