The Mentor Fire Rescue the Needy Food Drive was held at the Great Lakes Mall on November 30th and December 1st. Volunteers from Mentor Fire and Dispatch braved the cold to collect over 50 lbs. of non-perishable foods and $5,540 in cash.
Fire Lieutenant Michael Smith and Firefighter/Paramedic Dominic Vivolo have been involved in the program since its inception. Now in its 24th year, the drive has grown and the duo are looking forward to the future.
“The support we’ve received is amazing. Every year, we have people from the different stations, dispatch and administration help out with the drive which is kind of unusual when you come to think about it,” says Smith, “When we started out, it was just the two of us and now it’s great to see how many people get involved.”
Vivolo and Smith presented the donations today to Major Bender of the Salvation Army Painesville Corp.
“We wanted to keep it local because we know there are needy families in Mentor. When we found out that Salvation Army donations stay local, we decided that this is where we wanted all our donations to go,” says Vivolo.
“The Salvation Army makes every single penny count,” adds Smith.
In addition to food and cash donations, the Salvation Army is collecting toys for those in need. This year alone, the Painesville Corp has applications from over 374 families to benefit over 900 children.
“I’ve got to tell you, people are so generous, and we are thankful,” says Major Bender. When asked what they preferred in terms of donations, he added that cash provides the Salvation Army the flexibility to meet shortfalls with other needs.