February 21, 2024

ABOVE PHOTO: Two of the various youngsters who will profit from this yr’s Vacation Want Program. (Picture/PAcast)

HARRISBURG — Cupboard members from the Shapiro administration just lately gathered to rejoice the thirty third Annual Vacation Want Program, which is run by Commonwealth staff, and gives presents for individuals in want throughout Pennsylvania. This yr, the Vacation Want Program will present presents to greater than 600 individuals, together with greater than 150 households and 60 seniors. 

“I’m so proud to have colleagues throughout Commonwealth businesses who take time throughout this season to offer some additional cheer so our fellow Pennsylvanians can have a joyous vacation,” stated Division of Human Providers (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh. “We are able to all make a distinction for our associates and neighbors this vacation season by volunteering our time or donating to a favourite trigger. I encourage each Pennsylvanian to think about giving again this yr as they’re in a position.”  

When a household or particular person visits an area DHS County Help Workplace (CAO) to use for advantages, together with the Supplemental Vitamin Help Program (SNAP) or Medicaid, CAO caseworkers establish households and older adults in want to participate within the Vacation Want program. Vacation Want contributors choose just a few presents they want or want to obtain, and state staff, non-public organizations, and people sponsor a household or particular person to make sure they obtain particular presents through the vacation season. Representatives from Commonwealth businesses and the Pennsylvania Nationwide Guard then collect each December to distribute these presents to a whole lot of households throughout Pennsylvania. 

Vacation Want was began in 1989 by a small group of Commonwealth staff and has since grown to incorporate a whole lot of staff throughout the Commonwealth’s businesses, together with members of the Pennsylvania Nationwide Guard and employees from the Division of Labor & Trade, who diligently inspected and delivered greater than 650 stuffed toys to the Vacation Want program this yr after deeming them secure for retail.

“Annually, we at L&I diligently examine a whole lot of stuffed toys, guaranteeing each baby in Pennsylvania receives not simply pleasure, but additionally security of their vacation presents. This custom of donating our inspected toys to the Vacation Want program has a particular place in our hearts,” stated Labor & Trade Secretary Nancy A. Walker. “To everybody capable of give a bit of extra this season, I urge you to embrace the spirit of giving. The enjoyment and happiness by way of a easy act of kindness can result in lifelong reminiscences for numerous Pennsylvania youngsters.” 

“At PennDOT, partaking and connecting with communities throughout Pennsylvania is central to our mission,” stated PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “The Vacation Want program exemplifies this, and I’m happy with how generously the PennDOT staff – and all taking part Commonwealth businesses – have supported our neighbors this vacation season.” 

“We’re proud to hitch different state businesses and collectively ship not simply presents, however vacation cheer to a whole lot of Pennsylvanians by way of the Vacation Want program,” stated Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant common and head of the Division of Army and Veterans Affairs. “The Pennsylvania Nationwide Guard has an extended historical past of supporting the neighborhood and that is one other instance of assembly the decision to serve and enhancing the lives of fellow Pennsylvanians.” 

“The Division of Getting older is happy to associate with our sister businesses by offering Pennsylvanians with some vacation cheer. This time of yr will be tough for many individuals, particularly older adults who’re experiencing emotions of loneliness, melancholy, or isolation due to the lack of a beloved one, their associates, and even the bodily separation they’ve from their households. Via the Vacation Want Program, we hope to make a distinction in an older grownup’s life by letting them know that somebody cares, and we’re right here for them,” stated Secretary of Getting older Jason Kavulich. 

Further businesses offering presents and sources to the Vacation Want program embody the Governor’s Workplace, the Workplace of the Auditor Common, the departments of Getting older, Neighborhood and Financial Improvement, Corrections, Well being, State, and Transportation, in addition to the Pennsylvania Public College Workers’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Fee on Crime and Delinquency. 

Functions for public help applications will be submitted on-line at: www.dhs.pa.gov/compass. Pennsylvanians can also apply for advantages or get further help at County Help Workplaces (CAOs) or by calling the Buyer Service Facilities at 215-560-7226 in Philadelphia or 1-877-395-8930 for all different counties.