By Chris Ruvo:
As a boy, Irv Rubin visited an orphanage with his school. It was an experience he’ll never forget.
“It made a major impression,” said the Doylestown Township resident. “You saw how little they had — nothing really. You just wanted to help.”
Indeed he did, making items that were donated to the orphans. Over the ensuing decades, Rubin has continued his altruism, giving generously to worthy charities, organizations and drives.
The Intelligencer’s Give A Christmas campaign is among Rubin’s favorite beneficiaries.
There’s a good reason, he said, why he and his wife, Patrice, donate every year to the fund drive that benefits less fortunate families in Central and Upper Bucks County, as well as Eastern Montgomery County and the North Penn and Indian Valley communities.
“I want to help the less fortunate people that live in my community — the people I see every day,” says Rubin. “I want to have an impact locally.”
The Intelligencer readers have a great excuse this week to join Rubin in the local outreach effort by donating generously to Give A Christmas as part of Giving Tuesday.
Started in 2012 and occurring annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is a movement that encourages individuals, businesses and other organizations to generously support charities, events, fund drives, social do-gooding organizations and the like during the holiday season.
“One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community,” the Giving Tuesday website states.
Rubin encourages other to do just that by donating to Give A Christmas.
“It’s our duty to help people who are less fortunate than ourselves,” he said. “There’s a need for this kind of help in our community and we should meet that need as a community.”
Unfortunately, Rubin is right in his assessment of need. The latest U.S. Census states that 6.6 percent of Bucks County’s population — some 41,818 people — are living below the poverty line.
Over the last 30 years, Give A Christmas has supported those neighbors in need. Thanks to readers’ donations, Give A Christmas has generated nearly $2.8 million since launching in the late 1980s. Last year alone, the community delivered an outpouring of support that tallied $126,594.64.
The donations power a range of assistance initiatives — everything from helping parents to buy gifts and groceries, to aiding with rent payments, medical bills and utility needs.
The Bucks County Opportunity Council administers the fund, sharing 10 percent of the proceeds with the Keystone Opportunity Center. The two community action agencies work on behalf of Give A Christmas to identify individuals and families needing financial assistance during the holidays.
During the 2016 holiday season, the Opportunity Council provided assistance to 441 families (1,308 individuals). The average assistance per family was $176. Families served had an average income of $14,844.
Recipients are thankful for the community support.
Take the single mother from Upper Bucks. Last holiday season, her car broke down and wiped out all the money she had set aside for Christmas. She sought help to provide a Christmas — to keep her fast-growing teenager in clothes that would fit properly. Give A Christmas answered the call.
“I am so appreciative of any help I receive,” the mother said.
This Giving Tuesday, readers have the chance to help another family through Give A Christmas. Don’t miss the opportunity.