Springfield addicts support group hosts toy drive for homeless shelter

Nov 22, 2017
Jeff Guerini
Brad and Melanie Silvus with Families of Addicts Bridge of Support are collecting toys and clothing for people in need this Holiday season. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

A local organization committed to helping Clark County addicts and their families is holding a toy and clothing drive for a Springfield homeless shelter in need.

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The Clark County chapter of the Families of Addicts organization will be collecting toys and other winter clothing for children from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the FOA Bridge of Support facility, 50 W. High St.

All proceeds will go to the Interfaith Hospitality Network homeless shelter, said Brad Silvus, who serves as FOA co-director with his wife, Melanie.

“We started it as a toy drive, but it’s kind of evolved into hats, gloves, scarves and also gently-used coats and clothes,” Brad Silvus said. “One of our goals is to give back to our community.”

FOA’s mission is to help families and individuals struggling with addiction to promote recovery, Brad Silvus said. The organization holds its weekly Tuesday meeting at IHN’s Mulberry Terrace Apartments community room.

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The shelter has had an influx of children in recent weeks, he said. It has about 35 children in ages ranging from seven months to 17 years, Brad Silvus said. The organization hopes to have a couple items for each child, he said.

“We’ve had a lot of support in the community,” Brad Silvus said. “We’re averaging nearly 50 to 55 people coming to our Tuesday meetings. We’re looking at what we can do to give back, and this just seems to be an opportunity for us.”

People can donate before Dec. 6 by calling Melanie at 937-624-2304 or Brad at 624-2436 or by e-mailing foaclarkcountyspringfield@gmail.com. Cash donations and gift cards will also be accepted.

“It’s honestly whatever people want to give,” Melanie Silvus said. “Kids on Christmas Day would obviously love to have a toy, but they know being out in the weather, hats and gloves will be really nice, too. It’s whatever people feel they want to give.”

The need is great locally, especially with other organizations, such as the Salvation Army, not meeting goals so far this holiday season.

“Hopefully we can help with that,” Melanie Silvus said. “We want people to know we’re here.”

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