Grandmother inspires donations to PIN


A local family recently donated $1,100 to People In Need as a Christmas gift for a family member who used to volunteer for the organization.

Delaware resident Marge Matthews, 95, said she previously volunteered for People In Need and worked in its food bank every Friday since the 1980s until the pandemic began in 2020.

“It is a one-on-one charity,” Matthews said. “(At) People In Need you are dealing with people. … No one should go hungry in Delaware.”

Chelsa Matthews, Marge Matthews’ granddaughter-in-law, said the Matthews family has a tradition of having everyone draw a name out of a hat and shop for that specific family member during Christmas. Chelsa Matthews said she drew Marge Matthews’ name but wasn’t sure what would make a fitting gift before recalling her dedication to People In Need.

“She never wants anything, so I didn’t know what to get her,” Chelsa Matthews said. “I always heard how she volunteered with People In Need for 40 years until the pandemic. If she still could, she’d be there in a heartbeat. (I realized) I could raise money in her name and that would be her way of still helping them.”

Chelsa Matthews said she led a fundraiser for the organization in Marge Matthews’ name and organized a group of people to carol outside her house last month.

The family said 57 people gathered outside Matthews’ home to sing her Christmas carols, and the fundraising event raised $1,100 for PIN.

“I didn’t really know what to expect as far as how people could come out,” Chelsa Matthews said. “It really showed me how loved she is. With all her years of giving and caring for people, (it showed) how much people wanted to give back to her. Honestly, it was a gift to her. I wanted her to know that not just her family appreciates her and notices all that she’s done over the years.”

Marge Matthews said she was surprised by the caroling and the fundraising.

“I was absolutely stunned,” she said. “It was just lovely. I love music. That was another special treat. … People In Need is a wonderful charity. You know if you give something to People In Need, it’s going to go to someone who needs it.”

Cory Lawrence, Marge Matthews’ granddaughter, said it was “really sweet” to see how much support the fundraiser and her grandmother received.

“She’s been a part of Delaware all of her life,” Lawrence said. “I love that so many people came out and supported her and that so many people who weren’t able to come, still donated. It’s a great reminder that gifts don’t have to be things but can be time together and time helping others.”

Marge Matthews said she’s appreciative of how charitable the Delaware community was for People In Need.

“I think it would be great for people to know how generous Delaware is,” she said.

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