The absolute busiest time of year is officially here. Attending parties, shopping, cooking, baking and more shopping are just the beginning of the whirlwind we call the holidays. It’s also a good time to support all the local small businesses right here in our own backyard.
While you are shopping for gifts and items for loved ones, let’s not forget about those less fortunate. Several of our Back Mountain Chamber members have projects which provide us with the opportunity to do something good for our neighbors. Eye Care Specialists is holding its 10th annual Coats for Kids and Families of Luzerne County Head Start. New or gently used coats can be dropped off at any Eye Care Specialists location until Dec. 5 or at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins home game on Friday, Dec. 8.
The annual Winter Care Package Drive coordinated by the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Students for Justice Club (SFJ) is also happening in our community. Last year in coordination with 12 law enforcement agencies, SFJ was able to reach out to two dozen recovering heroin addicts and their families by providing them with care packages of food, toys and games for the holidays.
This year it is anticipated about 50 families will benefit from the drive. The supplies needed for the care packages are non-perishable food items as well as puzzles, board games, movies and other similar items for family activities. Monetary gifts are also welcome and checks may be made payable to Penn State Wilkes-Barre SGA. Grocery store gift cards are also welcome. All donations should be made no later than Monday, Dec. 11 and may be dropped off at Penn State Wilkes-Barre.
The BMC held its November Luncheon at Camp Orchard Hill located on Orange Road in Franklin Township on Nov. 9. Jim Payne, executive director, and Lisa Stull, food service director, spoke to those in attendance about the continuing progress and success the Christian summer camp has enjoyed.
Lunch was served at the Lakeview Terrace, the camp’s newest facility, which can be booked for any type of meeting or celebration. The lower level can seat almost 500 people and dinner or lunch can be served on the upper level which offers a bright open area with a beautiful view of the lake. The camp’s busiest time is during the summer, when campers can enjoy either a day camp or sleep-away camp experience.
Future plans in include new cabins that will blend in with the landscape, while at the same time being modern and convenient. Camp Orchard Hill accepts donations to its general fund which assists in keeping cost down for campers and other programs. For two weeks every December, Camp Orchard Hill hosts the homeless men from Mother Theresa’s Haven, and many of the meals served are done so with the help of local churches in the Back Mountain.
From the BMC to all of you, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season and a Happy New Year!
As always, if you wish to have your community event placed on the “BMC Events Calendar” on our website, please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, and we will include your event.