'Elks care. Elks share.'
The need in the community caused by the economical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't gone away, and one local organization spent a morning lending a hand to those most affected.
The Ormond Beach Elks Lodge 2193 hosted a drive-thru COVID supply drive on Saturday, March 20, where people had the ability to receive food, water, sanitizing products and paper goods, a result of $6,500 in grants by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. Erika Barger, vice president of the Elk's East Central District, said that, as there are fewer organizations holding similar supply drives a year into the pandemic, now is a time when people likely need aid the most.
“One of our mottos is 'Elks care, Elks share,'" Barger said. "So through the foundation, that’s really what the funds are for — to help our communities, and that’s one of our biggest goals.”
The Elks Foundation provides grants to lodges across the U.S. thanks to the membership's fundraisers. For every dollar raised, Barger said lodges receive approximately $2.30 back to use in endeavors such as the COVID supply drive.
Gerri Madden, chair of the board of directors for the lodge, said they put together a team of people to host the event. They did their own shopping with the grant money provided by the Elks, and some members also donated goods toward the effort. In addition, Madden contacted the Ormond Beach Police Department to help find people in need in the community.
They targeted mainly residents benefiting from different forms of rental assistance, a number Madden said hovers around 200 in Ormond Beach.
“The goal here was just to target the people in need," she said.