Dear Editor,

As we look back on past years of caring for the Agency Youth Shelter and the Corinthian House, a lot of changes have happened.

In 2015, we were looking at "wish" lists from the youth, blankets and stocking stuffers. In 2016, we were looking for school supplies, backpacks and winter coats. In 2017, we were looking for basic items, toothbrushes, shoes and gloves. In 2018, the needs were T-shirts, jogging pants and underwear. In 2019, things changed a little and we looked at activities the youth could participate in, like a movie or going bowling, maybe a concert.

Well, 2020 came around and here we are staying inside, not doing much in the community — but the needs have not changed, they are still the same.

Judy Davison told Mark Newman in 2018, "We're more of a holding shelter for when they can't find a spot in foster care. We can get kids from anywhere, any age."

Yes this could be girls or boys that cannot be safely maintained in their home or their safety is in question (it's not a bed and breakfast). When these youth come to the shelter, they usually have on the clothes that they are wearing — that's all.

Again, 2020 has not changed the needs of these youth. One person can have an impact on these youth resulting in the changes needed to make them productive members of society. I'm asking you for your help as I have in past years. It could be a cash donation, or items the youth can use.

In 2017, I asked for your help and said: "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; whoever has food must do likewise," Luke 3:11.

You can drop off items at Farmers Insurance, 112 N. Court in Ottumwa.

Thank you in advance, for who you are!

Thomas Shafer, Ottumwa

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