In the spirit of the season, several Prince George’s County agencies are donating their time and energy to help the less fortunate.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker joined with public safety officials to kick off the Public Safety Assistance Program’s 27th Annual Christmas Food Basket Event. Held at Bunker Hill Fire/Ems Station in Mt. Rainier, the program’s purpose is to make sure needy families have a meal this holiday season.

Baker who made his first official public appearance as county executive at this same event in 2010, thanked the officials involved saying, “Our heroes never stop being heroic. We are thankful.”

Volunteers from Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) pitched in also. PGCC President Charlene Dukes sent out a campus-wide call for help after learning about the programs existence. In all, members of the college’s Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, Pathways Student Leadership Program and the softball team packed 500 baskets to assist in the effort.

“At this time of year, it is important for all of us to remember how privileged we are to have the resources to care for our families and loved ones. Many are not as fortunate,” said Dukes in a statement. “It is an honor to be joined by staff members, student leaders, athletes as we help provide a joyful holiday for our neighbors.”

On Dec. 16, police officials took the help a step further partnering with the Maryland chapter of the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association (HNLEA) for a Christmas Food Basket Drive.

“This goes to show that even during these tough economic times, people manage to pull together to support those who are less fortunate,” HNLEA president, Lt. Joseph Perez of the Prince George’s County Police Department, stated.  “Distributing over 700 food baskets far exceeded our expectations, but it’s a testament to the human spirit displayed by many of our County residents, business owners, and police officers.”

The police department also partnered with one Warm Coat and Homeless Outreach to distribute over 150 coats to community members at National Church of God on Dec. 11.

Prince George’s County Public Schools got into the act last week as central office employees donated winter accessories, supermarket gift cards and toys to needy and homeless families in Prince George’s County.

“The holidays allow us to make a difference in the lives of all families regardless of their circumstances by giving a warm hat and gloves, a special toy or helping to provide a holiday meal,” said PGCPS Superintendent William R. Hite in a statement.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO