OSWEGO, NY – A grassroots group has sprung up in the Port City to ensure those who need warm clothing this winter can have some.
“I’m not sure how it all started, except that Bernadet Pryor is the mind behind it. She goes out of her way to help as many people as she can,” said Terry Moody. “They could need clothes, food, diapers or whatever and she gets it for them.”
She would take all the donations for the students and parents at Tae Kwon Do America and store them in a small room and help people when they asked, Moody explained.
Eventually, Pryor hooked up with Amy Otipiglopper from Saving Families.
Together, they started helping more families.
“I went down to the school one day to drop off some donations that my daughter had. I discovered how much donations she had and it filled the whole room,” Moody said. “They decided to have a free clothing giveaway. I offered to help them set up.”
They held the event at the school, “which isn’t very big to begin with.”
The giveaway was scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 10.
“We had people lined up at 8:30. We kept track of the people that came in and more than 50 families were helped that day. The first three hours was non stop people. We had personal hygiene items as well as food and toys that people donated,” Moody said. “It was a great feeling knowing that we were helping that many people. People were looking for beds, furniture, things that we take for granted.”
One lady was given custody of her grandchildren and had nothing and was looking for stuff, Moody noted.
“We had a girl, about 8, come in by herself looking for a pair of boots. All she had on were slippers. We told her we didn’t have any and before we could get her name, she was gone. It’s sad that people donate their clothes to Salvation Army or Rescue Mission and people can’t even afford to buy them there,” she added.
Bernadet and Amy also do sponsors for Christmas baskets and toys.
They are having a cookie delivery as well.
A bunch of people are making cookies and they are delivering to the fire departments, police, sheriff’s and others.
“Bernadet is a person that will do anything for anyone. She is an angel to all the kids at the school,” Moody said.
They are also taking names of people who are looking for certain items to see if the group can help them out.
Moody said she was “overwhelmed by the amount of people that came” to the November event.
The people were friendly and orderly, no fighting or pushing, she added.
“Many of them appreciated what we were doing and thanked us,” she said.
They were planning another event for May.
However, many donations are coming in and people are saying that they will have some by the end of the week, Moody said, adding, “So many people are willing to donate that it’s awesome!”
The group will be having another free clothing giveaway this Saturday at the Grace Lutheran Church.
“They were great at letting us use their building. I also got a call from New Covenant Church that we can use their place next time. We were going to have one in May figuring it would be enough time to collect stuff,” she said. “Well it’s a month later from the last one and we need to have one. The donations are coming in from everywhere. I went to New Haven and picked up a truck load, went to Fulton and Volney and filled up my van.”
For more information on how to help, contact Moody at 216-4356, or call Tae Kwon Do America and talk to Bernadet.