K.G. Ariagno, one of the organization’s cofounders, characterized the intake as, “not as good as some years, but better than other.” She said she was pleased with the amount, although $4,200 was raised last year. Volunteers were stationed at every bank location in town, the Helping Hands food bank and each grocery store. Although the afternoon sky looked like rain, there wasn’t a drop until later in the evening, well after the 5 p.m. cutoff time.
Ariagno said that Helping Hands would use some of the money to take 58 children shopping at Wal-Mart. She said that volunteers used to take individual families shopping, but that that had turned out to be far too difficult. Parents now accompany their children and Helping Hands volunteers all on the same day, she said.
Ariagno said she owed much to her volunteers, who keep the operation running successfully.
“We had a lot of good volunteers (on Friday),” she said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do anything.”