For seven decades, Associated Charities has been helping families at Christmas

By Lynn R. Parks

For the 72nd consecutive year, Seaford-Blades Associated Charities made sure that families in need in the community did not have to go without at Christmas. Under the guidance of Ginny Short, who has headed up the effort for 52 years, volunteers delivered toys and food to more than 100 families who live in the Seaford School District.
"She does an amazing job," said John Rohlich, one of 10 Seaford Lions Club members who made deliveries. "And she does it all without a computer."
"That's right," said Short, holding up several pieces of notebook paper with notes written on them. "Everything is hand-written."
Collection of items started in November. Donations for the deliveries came from area churches, organizations and individuals. Toys for Tots, the annual toy collection headed by the Marine Corps League, also contributed some toys.
The items were stored in a building on Stein Highway; Short prefers that the exact location not be made public. Volunteers sorted the donations, fixing up boxes and bags and labeling them for specific families, and deliveries were made on Friday.

Louise and Jim Marine of Seaford were among the volunteers who made deliveries. They have volunteered with Associated Charities for five years, Louise said. "We just love to help people in their time of need," she said. On Friday, they made deliveries to 14 families.
Susan Hastings of Seaford was one of the volunteers who helped to pack up the toys and food. Ginny Short's daughter, she has been helping with Associated Charities since she was a child. Her grandmother, Elizabeth Murphy, who lived in Reliance and who was Ginny Short's mother, was one of the original volunteers when the Lions Club started the effort. And now, Hastings' children and grandchildren sometimes help out.
"This is a real family affair," Hastings said, packing toys into a box. "We are keeping the tradition going."
Hastings said that helping out with Associated Charities really makes the holiday real for her.
"This is Christmas to us," Hastings said. "I haven't even done my own Christmas shopping yet. But I want to help to make sure that every child in our community has presents."

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