Saturday afternoon Worcester Railers Booster Club President Rich Lundin announced a holiday fundraiser to support Friendly House. The Booster Club usually holds a toy drive at their annual holiday party, but with the Railers sitting out the 2020-21 season there is no holiday party for members to attend this season.
“While the logistics have changed, the mission still remains”, Lundin told 210Sports. “We need to adapt to the current situation we’re in, as the kids still need our help.”
How the Booster Club’s usual toy drives work is members bring unwrapped toys to the group’s holiday party, and get one raffle ticket per each dollar spent. Anyone that has already bought toys or gift cards anticipating the event will still be able to enter the raffle in that manner, with the Booster Club arranging pick-up of those items for delivery to Friendly House. This year the Booster Club has also added an ability online to donate funds, using PayPal. People who donate will also receive one raffle ticket per dollar donated.
Lundin said that Friendly House is not holding a holiday party this year due to COVID, and because of that Friendly House is looking for cash and gift card donations instead of toys. They will still take the toys Lundin added, but from a logistical standpoint handing out gift cards to parents to go shopping on their own is easier for the organization, and safer for volunteers involved.
For more information, and to see what items will be raffled off, people are being directed to the Friendly House Raffle page on the Booster Club’s website.
As for this season’s goal, Lundin was very optimistic. “In the past, we’ve donated up to $3000 worth of toys and gift cards. We’d still like to hit that mark this year.”
From their website, “Friendly House first opened its doors in 1920, as a small three-room settlement house located at 37 Norfolk Street in, Worcester, MA, under the sponsorship of the Worcester Civic League. Their mission was to promote neighborhood health and welfare for the betterment of Worcester and to further the interests of Worcester’s immigrants – introducing them to the customs and traditions of their new home and helping them to become an integral part of civic life.
“Over the past 100 years, throughout a changing society, the core philosophy of Friendly House has remained unchanged. Friendly House helps people to help themselves, generate self-reliance, and increase their quality of life. The strengthening of the finest family standards and the highest American ideals is the underlying educational purpose of Friendly House. Friendly House provides opportunities for individuals to realize his/her potential for a full life through self-direction and growth.”