The McLean County Help Office has been assisting families in need for nearly two decades, but now volunteers there are asking for help.

Lately the office has been having issues with individuals dropping off items to be donated after hours and leaving them out in front of the building. Typically by the time the volunteers return to the office, the items have been picked through and strewn about, causing a mess. They also have individuals who drop off used mattresses, which the Help Office cannot receive, and which they have to pay $15 each to take to the dump.

"Mattresses are one thing we do not accept," said Yvonne Cissna, one of the Help Office Volunteers.

She said the Help Office accepts home furnishings of all kinds, clothing, food, and monetary donations, but they are unable to use the mattresses. She also wants to reiterate to citizens interested in donating that there is a number on the Help Office door to call if items are being dropped off. If the office is closed, one needs only to call Ida Chambers.

"My number is on the door, and I'm all call 24-7, so I could come at any time to receive the items," Chambers said.

Even in the event of an emergency, like a house fire, Chambers said, she or other Help Office volunteers could be available to make up a food box, or some necessary items.

When items are dropped and left at the door, those items are also vulnerable to the elements. If they are rained on, the Help Office often can't use them.

Chambers loves to help people, and sees a need in McLean County for a place like the Help Office, which is why she likes

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to volunteer and contribute her time.

"I have been volunteering about 10 years with the Help Office," she said. "I just love helping people and it gets me out of the house."

She said there are so many items who could use the items that are donated, and the items are free to whomever comes into the office and goes through the proper channels to receive them.

"Why steal it at our door when other people could use it? Wait until we open and come get it for free," she said.

Cissna shared this same sentiment, adding that the Help Office is grateful to the community for assisting in the ways they are able to, and she and other volunteers want to continue with their mission.

To donate any items to the Help Office, to volunteer, or if you are in need of assistance, visit them during the hours of 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information call 270-278-5500.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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