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SCOTIA: Group gives all that it gets

As the season of giving nears, local groups are depending on people to open their hearts. Unlike larger groups that receive a lot of attention, the volunteers with Scotia Relief Association rely on their reputation to help them support families throughout the community.

This year, the group continues its tradition of providing essentials throughout the holidays.

We rely on local support to help our families in need each year. We have our regular supporters who help us every year. We had a very busy year this year and are in need of every possible donation, said secretary of the association and Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg.

Last year the group was able to provide 77 Scotia-Glenville families with vouchers totaling $10,985, according to President Jim Dunham. He said requests for assistance this year have been substantial, leading to a diminishing reserve fund. The families the group helps include those who have suffered financial hardships, illness or a house fire.

"The group puts every cent raised directly to those with needs and pays for items such as mailings out of their own pockets," said Dunham.

The eight-person board coordinates assistance with essentials such as food, clothing, medications, heating fuels and other basic needs. This time of year, the group works to provide vouchers at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"In the past we have been able to give vouchers to Rotterdam Square Mall, utility companies and Gabriel's Market here in the village. We want to be able to keep up with all the families who are just looking for help with the essentials," said Kastberg.

The group works on a referral basis. It usually receives word about a family in need from the police departments, churches and the Scotia-Glenville School Administrative officials.

Donations may be made payable to Scotia Relief Association, and may be sent to the group's treasurer, Jan Tunison at 30 Lark St., Scotia, 12302. Referrals can be made directly to Jim Dunham at Glen Worden Elementary School, 346-0469.""

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