Archived Story

Niles Service League bundles buddies for winter weather

Published 3:49pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

With the 90-degree temperatures early this week, it’s hard to believe that winter is right around the corner, but the Niles Service League is already hard at work preparing for the cold weather.

The service league, a group of about 20 women focused on bettering the welfare of the children in the Niles area, recognizes the fact that innumerable children do not have the equipment necessary to weather the cold during winter months.

Martin’s Supermarket in Niles has partnered with the Niles Service League to prepare children in the Niles area for cold weather and other necessities.

From now through Sept. 22, Martin’s cashiers will be selling “Bundle Buddies” at their registers for $1 each.

“Our cashiers are pretty motivated,” said Lacie Piers, human resources coordinator for Martin’s Supermarket in Niles. “They try to sell at least one [Bundle-a-buddy] per sale.”

“This year we have incentivized the Martin’s cashiers to really participate selling $1 donations by offering a 20 percent award if they sell $2,000, 15 percent if they sell $1,000 up to $1,500 and 10 percent award for $500. We award the top-selling cashiers with a gift card, so they benefit, and more importantly local kids benefit through our school liaison program,” said Tracy Fortune, vice president of the Niles Service League.

All proceeds will fund the Niles Service League’s School Liaison Program. The money is allocated based on the needs of the students in the schools.

“We work in connection with the counselors at the schools, mainly the elementary schools, but sometimes the high schools, too,” said Fortune. “The counselors will let us know when there is a student in need of boots or gloves or coats, or sometimes it’s eyeglasses. We’ve even done dental work in some extreme cases. So we basically go purchase whatever they need.”

Last year, Martin’s cashiers raised about $1,300 for the Bundle-A-Buddy program. In recent years, the Bundle-A-Buddy program has raised between $1,200 and $1,600. This year, the service league hopes to raise $2,000.

Fortune said that the Bundle-A-Buddy cash donations are more helpful in comparison to item donations.

“We haven’t had very much success with people collecting used things because then we have to find a place to store it until someone needs it,” she said.

The Niles Service League works year round planning various events for the children in the Niles area.

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