By Bill Sterling
The 64th Bank of Cheer went smoothly last week as over 125 deliveries of food to needy families were completed by a group of volunteers that included employees of the Accomack Parks and Recreation Department, students and retired teachers from Northampton High school and a group from the Pungoteague Ruritan Club.
Laura Trala, who has coordinated the deliveries for 31 years, provided detailed instructions and directions to the volunteers after spending countless hours ordering the food, shopping for hams and working with Social Services officials and other area leaders to establish a list of families in need of help at Christmas.
Two days prior to the delivery, volunteers packed assorted canned vegetables, meats, soup, fruit and staples such as sugar, flour, rice and cornmeal at the Moose Lodge in Belle Haven. Boxes were provided once again by Dublin Farms of Horntown.
“I am constantly amazed at the generosity of Eastern Shore of Virginia residents when confronted with the needs of their less-fortunate neighbors,” said Trala. “I also appreciate the group of volunteers, many of whom come back year after year. This year, when last minute changes had to be made, the Accomack Parks and Recreation Department stepped up to pick up and deliver the food to the Moose Lodge, which provided a location on short notice for packing and delivery.”
It has become a Christmas tradition for local residents, community organizations, churches and other groups to make a donation to Bank of Cheer. Donors know that 100 percent of their donations go to help the Bank of Cheer recipients. All labor, transportation expenses and the boxes are donated.
Monetary donations are still needed and can be mailed to: Bank of Cheer, c/o Laura Trala, P.O. Box 646, Onley, Va. 23418.