These Boots Were Made for Filling

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Maybe these “boots were made for walkin’,” but on Friday they were made for filling . . . with donations.

(Photo by Brian Hagberg. Family Services of Warren County volunteer Chloe Meddaugh takes a donation from a motorist during the group’s annual Boot Drive in Warren, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.)

Family Services of Warren County volunteers were at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street for the group’s annual Boot Drive.

“The Boot Drive is crucial to our existence because not a lot of people know exactly what Family Services is or what we offer,” Kendall Arnold, FSWC Fundraising Committee head, said. “Being able to get out into the community and tell people what we’re about brings us new clients, and possibly new donors as well.”

(Photo by Brian Hagberg. A motorist gets their donation ready as they approach Family Services of Warren County volunteers during the group’s annual Boot Drive in Warren, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.)

Volunteers were out for four hours giving motorists more information about who FSWC is and accepting donations. The event typically brings in between $1,200 and $1,500. This year the group raised more than $1,800.

“We live in an amazing community,” Arnold said. “The money will go towards helping our clients in recovery.”

According to the group’s website, “Family Services of Warren County, Inc. is a trauma informed nonprofit behavioral health organization that provides assessments, counseling, substance abuse services, and support groups for people in and around Warren County, Pennsylvania.”

FSWC relies on its fundraisers to continue operations, but has had to make some changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to COVID, this year has most definitely been a struggle,” Arnold said. “We haven’t been able to hold any ‘gathered’ fundraisers which really cuts down on the available money that we have to provide quality treatment due to being a non profit.”

The Boot Drive is one of the few fundraisers the group can do with minimal changes.

“This year will not be any different than years prior (due to COVID), except that staff will be wearing masks and using hand sanitizer as frequently as we can while meeting the community and raising money,” Arnold said.