Dec 17, 2014

Coat Drive Helps Those in Need During Cold Winter

Coat Drive Helps Those in Need During Cold Winter

By Kimberly Petalas


Cynthia Katinas, Brian Stidsen, Paula Stidsen, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, Father Michael Broderick from St. Patrick Church and Pastor David Fish from the First Congregational Church of Rutland

helped sort through the coats, boots and other items that were donated through the coat drive, recently.


RUTLAND – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis recently dropped off coats at 11 locations throughout the area, including St. Patrick Church in Rutland.


“We are distributing over 3,000 coats this year,” the sheriff said. “Wachusett Mountainkicked us off with more than 1,000 coats.”


Donation boxes were set up around the county, collecting coats to be distributed to those who may not be able to afford them. According to the sheriff ’s office, one of the largest donors in the Wachusett area was Oriol Health Care.


“Each year it just gets bigger and bigger,” said Evangelidis. “We try to find where the need is and meet it, but as you can imagine, the is a lot of need and never enough coats to meet it.”


This is the second year the sheriff has dropped hundreds of coats off at St. Patrick Church. According to volunteers at the Church, coats will be distributed on Dec. 13, 9 a.m. until noon.


The coat drive kicked off on Oct. 15 this year at Wachusett Mountain. This was the sheriff ’s fourth year running the drive and he said was impressed with how many new organizations came forward to help.


“So many organizations asked if they could be a drop off location this year,” he said. “Planet Fitness in Leominster and the Community Health Connections both really stepped forward and collected so many coats for the drive.”


In addition to Rutland, coats were also dropped off in GardnerFitchburgLeominsterSouthbridgeWorcester and Shrewsbury. Each location received various amounts of the coats to distribute, based on need, and will give them away in the next few weeks.


Dec 17, 2014

Sheriff’s Office Distributes Over 3,000 Winter Coats

Sheriff’s Office Distributes Over 3,000 Winter Coats

By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer

Saturday, December 6th, 2014


Alyssa Thibeault, Ellen Savickas and Andrew Abdella from the sheriff’s office; St. Anne’s volunteers Evelyn Jenkins and Elaine LeBlanc; Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis; and Joe Capone, executive director of the Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association  Photo/Valerie Franchi

 Alyssa Thibeault, Ellen Savickas and Andrew Abdella from the sheriff’s office;

 St. Anne’s volunteers Evelyn Jenkins and Elaine LeBlanc;

 Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis; and Joe Capone, executive director of the Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association



 Shrewsbury – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis delivered more than 3,000 winter coats to 11 community organizations throughout the county Dec. 3 and 5, as part of the fourth  annual Winter Coat Drive. The last stop was at St. Anne’s Church in Shrewsbury.

 “This is a great program,” Evangelidis said. “It is amazing to see the need. One woman getting coats for her kids said they needed them not just for outside, but inside the house. People are  cold.”

Other stops on the campaign included Veterans Inc., and St. John’s Food Pantry in Worcester.

The program is organized through the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association, the charity arm of the sheriff’s office.

Coats are collected year-round at the sheriff’s office, 240 Main St., Worcester.

Dec 17, 2014

Warm Gifts for the Winter Season

Warm gifts for the winter season


Katie Landeck

News Staff Writer


News Staff Photos by KATIE LANDECK

GARDNER – Staff from Sheriff Lew Evangelidis office, as well as the sheriff himself, carried hundreds of winter coats, hats, gloves and snow boots into the Gardner Community Action Center’s office on Wednesday morning.

The Sheriff’s Annual Winter Coat Drive has provided thousands of people with new and lightly used winter gear.

Sheriff Evangelidis said every time he is out delivering the coats, he remembers the simple thank you a girl, who looked to be about 13, gave him when he handed her a coat.

“She said, ‘it’s so much more than just a coat,’” he said. “I always think of her … I’ve been cold plenty of times, but I’ve never had to be cold.”

The coat drives helps make sure people don’t have to be cold.

This year, the Sheriff said more than 3,000 coats were collected, making it the most successful coat to date. At the kickoff event in October, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area lended the drive a major boost when they donated 1,500 coats.

In addition to the CAC, the coats will be distributed to the Cleghorn & Spanish American Centers, the Hope Center of Fitchburg, The Friendly House of Worcester, Rutland Food Pantry, Saint Anne’s Food Pantry in Shrewsbury and Tradewinds of Southbridge.

While the economy has shown some signs of recovery, Sheriff Evangelidis said there is still a lot of need in the region.
News Staff Photo by Katie LandeckThe office of Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, above, collected 3,000 coats this year, setting a new record.

The office of Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, above, collected 3,000 coats this year, setting a new record.

“We can’t even meet the need of the community,” he said. “But we can help.”

Last winter, the Gardner CAC ran out of coats midway through the winter. Julie Meehan, the executive director of the CAC, said people had already started calling and asking when winter coats would become available.

“It’s so cold in the houses, people are sleeping in their coats now,” she said. She estimated the majority of the coats will be distributed within the next three weeks.

Several local businesses, including the Gardner Museum, Wachusett Mountain, and Hannaford Supermarkets, partnered with the Sheriff’s office to help collect the coats.

“It takes a tremendous amount of coordination,” said Mayor Mark Hawke, while thanking people who contributed.

He said that he cleaned out his own closets, after seeing children on the playground in 30 degree weather without a winter coat.

“All they have is sweatshirt,” he said.

People who wish to donate additional coats can drop them off at the Gardner CAC, located above the Senior Center at 294 Pleasant St.

Nov 25, 2014

Sheriff’s 9th Annual Food Drive Brings in 200,000 Pounds of Food

Sheriff’s 9th Annual Food Drive
Brings in 200,000 Pounds of Food
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Patrick Sargent, GoLocal Worcester Contributor

From left to right: Michael Gross, General Manager of Harr Toyota, Lew Evangelidis, Worcester County Sheriff, Finz from Worcester Sharks, Gordon Hargrove of the Friendly House, Michael Myers of the Worcester Sharks
On Monday morning at the Friendly House in Worcester, local needy families received their Thanksgiving meals and winter coats for their children. At the 9th Annual Worcester County Sheriff Food Drive, 200,000 tons of food were donated by several local businesses and organizations, and by the residents of Worcester. 325 winter coats were donated by Harr Toyota.
“It means the world to me,” said Worcester resident Melissa Dellomo. “I’m struggling to get by. I’m barely working and I’m having trouble paying child support. This will save me $50 to $75 and that doesn’t include what I’ll save on the coats I will receive.”

2,000 Residents to Receive Food

“The Sheriff’s Annual Food Drive has a great tradition of giving back and this year over 200,000 pounds of donated food items were collected which will provide a wonderful Thanksgiving meal to over 2,000 local families in need during the holiday season,” said Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis.
The food will be distributed by the Friendly House, a local non-profit neighborhood and outreach center. “This is the most food we’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve been here. Over the holidays, we will be able to help at least 2,000 families. This year, rather than just only giving a turkey, we have provided whole meals,” said Gordon Hargrove, Executive Director of Friendly House. Hargrove has been at the Friendly House since 1957.
Josephine Velez, the Director of Social Services at Friendly House, has been at the Friendly House for over 30 years. Velez said, “This is excellent. It’s wonderful. There are 325 brand new jackets and this is the second year in a row we’ve been able to give the kids brand new jackets. Its the winter. There are so many families not able to pay rent or bills. Now they will at least have their children warm for the winter.”

Partners in Charity

The sponsors of this year’s food drive include Price Chopper, Worcester County Food Bank, WPI Fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha, Fallon Community Healthcare, Worcester Academy, DiMitria Delights, 2 Ovens Restaurant, David Gibbs and Family, Charter TV3, WCRN, Harr Toyota, and other private donors.
Senior Whole Health donated bags to hold the Thanksgiving meals being handed out. Price Chopper did a week-long collection, collecting 1,100 pounds of food.
Harr Toyota provided the hundreds of winter jackets. “Harr has been in the community since the 1940’s,” said Michael Gross, General Manager. “We are proud to be part of such a well-run event.”
WPI’s Lambda Chi Alpha collected over 10,000 pounds of food from Worcester residents. “The kids from WPI are unbelievable,” said Michael Myers, Senior Director of Business and Community Development for the Worcester Sharks. “They literally hung bags on every door in Worcester. They asked the people to fill it and all the kids had to do was come by and pick it up.”
“We are all partners in this food drive,” said Evangelidis. “The sheriff’s office is just blessed to be the coordinator.”