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Yorktown Community Help Prepares for Holidays

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — In the lower level of the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center, volunteers sorted boxes of donated food to be given out to residents, just as it’s done once a month. But the following day, Sunday morning, the volunteers would be sorting donated toys and seasonal items, along with their monthly food donations, explained David Humphrey.

Every month, volunteers from the Yorktown Community Help sort and organize pantry bags for Yorktown residents in need, but before the holiday season, the operation expands.

Humphrey explained that on distribution day, which is Wednesday, families are given pantry bags, with the food they normally receive, as well as family bags, and then a toy bag. Humphrey said during the holidays, the pantry receives many donations: for Christmastime, Lakeland is usually the biggest provider, for Easter, St. Patrick’s is usually the biggest and for Thanksgiving, Yorktown provides the most.  But she said local businesses, families as well as scouts give throughout the year.

Volunteer Cathy Costello, who was seen working without pause Saturday morning, said she first became involved just by donating food 25 years ago.

“I had been continuously giving and donating food for years, and then I decided I wanted to give more than just food, I wanted to give myself and my time to this too,” Costello said.

Treasurer of the pantry, Joan Seaboldt has been involved since 1980. Seaboldt explained the history of the organization and said it came together when different schools, churches and volunteers in the community wanted to create one central location to help Yorktown residents. Volunteers were seen helping out Saturday, many of the younger people are students working for community service projects.

“It’s good for the kids to be exposed and to help,” she said. “But it’s also good for us to have the help. They aren’t just doing community service hours, they’re learning something from it too.”

Seaboldt said the donations haven’t dwindled since the economy began to falter in recent years—in fact, this year she received more donations from certain people than before.

“People still want to help us out and help others out, and we see that here,” Seaboldt said.

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