Niles Service League’s annual Bundle-A-Buddy fundraiser kicks off on Monday

NILES – A local group is looking ahead to make sure students have the winter gear and clothing they need.

The Niles Service League Bundle-A-Buddy fundraiser kicks off at the Niles Martin’s Supermarket, at 720 S. 11th St, on March 8. Soon, cashier stations will have the colorful Bundle-A-Buddy mascot taped all over as donors contribute to the cause.

The cashiers will be in a friendly competition to raise dollars for the fundraiser, which helps provide coats, hats, boots, mittens and clothing to Niles Community Schools, Brandywine Community Schools and Buchanan Community Schools students in need.

“Even with COVID-19 and virtual learning, the need remains,” said Becky Brown, president of the Niles Service League. “It was down a little bit this year, but we still gave away 33 brand new coats, 14 pairs of snow pants and 38 pairs of boots. We also provided two children with glasses. We get whatever the schools call us and need.”

The fundraiser usually happens in the fall, with winter on the minds of many. This year, due to the pandemic, Martin’s Supermarket’s put fundraisers on hold. In lieu of hosting the fundraiser, Martin’s contributed to the Niles Service League until it could host the annual fundraiser again.

The fundraiser is traditionally a cash collection, asking for $1 at checkout. Donations will be accepted through March 28.

The Niles Service League has been doing this fundraiser for more than 15 years, according to Brown.

“The Niles Service League is a group of women that raises money, and all of the proceeds go to the children of Niles, Brandywine and Buchanan schools,” Brown said.

This year marks the league’s 88th year in Niles.

“We haven’t been able to do any fundraising this year because of COVID-19. Usually, we do a Color Run and things like that,” Brown said. “We have been doing everything virtually.”

The group is looking for more women to volunteer this year.

Those interested in volunteering, or who have questions about the Bundle-A-Buddy Fundraiser, should contact Niles Service League President Becky Brown at becky.brown@edwardjones.com.

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