The Lockport chapter of the Peacemakers are conducting two connected charity events in December. The first being its 2nd Annual Food Drive which will be on December 4th, which will be followed by its 2nd Annual Christmas Dinner Giveaway, which will be on the 18th. The events are intended to help provide food for the holidays for those in need. The goods that will be obtained at the food drive will be made into meal-kits that will be distributed at their dinner giveaway.
The events are similar to ones that the Lockport Peacemakers conducted last year. However, this year's holiday dinner will offer advance tickets, so they can help prepare enough meals beforehand without worrying about running out.
“They’re going to show up more if they’ve got a ticket, rather than a hope that food’s going to be there.” said Lockport Peacemakers coordinator Paula Halliday-Travis.
The Lockport Peacemakers helped 330 families in last year's food drives.
“It was a huge success.” Said member Erin Burch, “A lot of the members of the community came out, and some even helped out as well.” This year they’re hoping to improve on that success by helping up to 500 families.
The Peacemakers are a community outreach group which was founded in Buffalo in 2008, and has founded chapters in other communities in the Western New York area since then. Their Lockport chapter officially formed last year.
“We serve the community, as we see that the community has a need.” said Lockport Peacemakers member Steven O’Mara. “So each of our organizations serve in a different way.” The Peacemakers of Lockport usually conduct charity work or youth mentoring, though their work is always dependent on the needs of the community.
They are looking for people to donate non-perishables, but are particularly looking for instant potatoes, stove top stuffing, cake mix, frosting, canned vegetables, and macaroni and cheese.
“Those are typically the items you would eat at a holiday dinner,” said Halliday-Travis, “So we’re just trying to make it as easy as possible for the families that are in need.”
While the Lockport Peacemakers are pleased with the support that the community has shown them, they are eager for more volunteers to come join them.
“It’s a whole collaborative thing.” said Halliday-Travis “We’re not just outsiders coming in. We were born and raised here. We live in this community, and we care about this community.”
Both events will be taking place at Aaron Mosel Junior High, though food drop-offs will still be accepted at 42 Genesee St. or 5513 Hallmark Ln. Questions can be referred to the Lockport Peacemakers Facebook page.