Helping hands for the holidays: Winter Wish Drive benefits Frederick families in need


Isabella Lowery, Reporter

Cars were wrapped around Yogamour Yoga & Healing Arts Center last Saturday morning, where families lined up to collect free amenities from the Fred U-sponsored Winter Wish Drive’s second distribution day of the month. The event, which was fully coordinated by local organization Frederick United, was intended to provide assistance to families in need of items such as food, clothes, and toys for the upcoming holidays and cold months. 

Donations have been collected outside of Yogamour throughout November, whose owner graciously provided a space to hold the drive. Volunteers have been hard at work distributing posters and sanitizing materials leading up to the first day that items were distributed. The group had an excellent set-up when it came to handing out the hundreds of canned goods and articles of clothing–a COVID-friendly, no-contact car line. While half of the volunteers took orders at the window of each vehicle, those remaining would gather the correct sizes of clothing and food boxes to place in people’s trunks from pre-organized tables arranged by item type. Other donations included personal hygiene products like pads and tampons, toilet paper, and laundry detergent, as well as toys for the holiday season. 

Kristen Lundy, founder and leader of Frederick United, states the group’s intent in its name: to “unite”. She wants to create more unity in Frederick, as well as “promote change within black and brown communities.” Team member Lindzie Gordon shared a similar sentiment, and told how “one of the main goals of the drive was to build trust with Frederick’s low income and homeless community, given that they’ve been deceived by other groups in the past.” While only a handful of people showed up on the 21st, Lundy estimated that more than 30 families were fed the following weekend. 

“People in our local community are struggling due to the pandemic and lack of relief from our government,” Gordon explained. “Without stimulus checks, many are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat.” She went on to note how important this kind of work is to her, and how happy she is to see change and help provided in the community. “[This work] means so much to me, especially around the holiday times…I grew up being able to get presents on Christmas day, and I’d love to give that opportunity to another child who may not be as fortunate.”

The team operated like a well-oiled machine; seeing it in action was certainly an experience to remember. Each person knew their role, and was able to execute it so well that even an outsider could tell what an awesome job was being done. “The Fred U team has worked so well together…it took some trial and error, but we’ve worked hard to do it and do it right,” Gordon said. 

If you’re looking for ways to help, the drive is continuing through December 5th, and another event is being organized for the 12th to feed members of the local homeless community. Regarding donations, personal hygiene products and men’s shoes and clothing are highest in demand, but any kind of canned or boxed food and new or gently used toys can be deposited into the large blue box outside of Yogamour’s front door. Frederick United is also accepting monetary donations on their Venmo (@FrederickUnited).