'Secret Angels' start toy drive
Pallavi Agarwal | Highlands TodaySEBRING - They've paid electricity and food bills and are now raising money to help buy Christmas toys for 10 needy families.
Published: November 30, 2012
Published: November 30, 2012
They call themselves Secret Angels, a Facebook group that local resident Elizabeth Gollihue started a couple of months ago to help families who find themselves in a pinch.
Through word of mouth, Secret Angels now has more than 1,000 members, or "friends," and is growing every day, Gollihue said.
"This group was made to help people in need locally," she said. "We have been able to pay many bills, buy clothing and food and provide other things needed."
People who need help or just want to donate have to become group members by sending a request on Facebook.
Those seeking help can post their request on the Secret Angels' wall or send a private message to one of three administrators who run the page.
Members have the option to directly help whoever they want, Gollihue said. They can give their donations directly to the administrators or go online and pay part or whole of a person's utility bill, she said.
Those seeking help with, say, a utility bill have to have an online account, she added, and before a donation is made, administrators make sure the need is legitimate.
They can't help everybody since funds are limited, she said, so they try to tackle the most pressing requests.
A Highlands County woman recently came to them for help. Her husband had started a new job after being laid off and his new paycheck would not have come in time for the family to pay its light bill.
The Secret Angels had to come up with $500 in two days or their power would be turned off.
The money that was eventually raised helped this family and a second one, Gollihue added.
They figured they couldn't keep asking people for money so they started holding auctions to raise funds.
People who want to donate or participate in an auction can do so on its Facebook page.
Gollihue said they are looking for items, especially for teens, such as hair products, cosmetics, MP3 players, etc.
A car wash has been set for Dec. 8 to raise money for the toy drive.
The event is set from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at AutoZone, 3711 U.S. 27 N., Sebring. They will also accept new or clean used toys at that time.
Gollihue said there will also be a donation box, and volunteers can help.
The experience is rewarding to her and it's her way to thank those who helped her when she needed it, she said.
To contact Gollihue, call 863-368-2150. They can arrange to get donations picked up.
The Facebook page's link is http://tinyurl.com/cy6557p
The Secret Angels has more than 1,000 members and is growing every day.
To find out more, find them on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/cy6557p
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