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Valley News Dispatch

Beermuda continues nearly a decade of helping Arnold, New Kensington families

Emily Balser
| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, 1:33 p.m.
The Beermuda is accepting donations for local families in need this holiday season.
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
The Beermuda is accepting donations for local families in need this holiday season.
A Christmas wish list for a child in need is collected by the Beermuda in New Kensington on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
A Christmas wish list for a child in need is collected by the Beermuda in New Kensington on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
Beermuda managers Jennifer Toney, left, and Jennifer Stone, right, organize donated toys for children in need in New Kensington on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Beermuda managers Jennifer Toney, left, and Jennifer Stone, right, organize donated toys for children in need in New Kensington on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.

A New Kensington business is continuing its tradition of helping families in need during the holidays and is asking for the community to help make those Christmas wishes come true.

The Beermuda, located at 2150 Freeport Road, has been providing Christmas gifts to families in need for nearly a decade through its “Operation Christmas Memories” program. This year they are helping several families with children ranging in age from 1 to 7 years old.

Beermuda manager Jennifer Toney said donations are down this year and they have more families to help than in previous years. They are still collecting toys and donations through Dec. 20.

“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Toney said. “We don’t ever want to tell anybody ‘no.’”

Toney set up an Amazon wish list based on gift requests from the families. Residents can also donate on Facebook or by stopping into the Beermuda.

Toney said nearly 20 presents remain on the Amazon wish list and they are in need of monetary donations to buy necessities for the children such as clothes, shoes and blankets.

In addition to toys and the necessities, Toney said they could always use gift cards to places like Walmart and Target to get last minute items as well as wrapping paper.

Toney said, although taking on the program is time consuming and takes a lot of organizing every year, it makes it worth it to know they have helped local children in need.

“It makes me feel good,” Toney said. “It’s not these kids’ fault their parents can’t get them presents.”

She said she is grateful for the regulars who donate every year.

“We do have people every single year that say, ‘give me a list,’” Toney said. “You kind of know you can rely on them.”

This year, Toney received some help from local resident and volunteer Mark Resetar, who works with several area churches and organizations.

Resetar was able to put Toney in touch with a few families he knew could use the help this year. He said the need in the Arnold and New Kensington communities is greater than many realize — not just at the holidays, but all year long.

“Our needs are growing, they’re ever-growing,” he said.

Resetar said he tries to build relationships with families who are trying to work their way out of poverty.

“Not only do we do something for them at Christmas, if something happens throughout the year, we’ll be there for them,” he said. “A lot of these families are just trying to survive.”

Resetar said he commends Toney for the work she does at the holidays and the awareness she brings to the community.

“She’s getting people that would normally not be helping or doing anything to help — we could always use more,” he said. “We’re a good team.”

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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