New Valley family turns to Needy Family Fund

By William Bowman

The Daily Item

When Desiree Carmichael and her family relocated this summer from Jersey City, N.J., she knew the move would be difficult.The transition has been even more difficult than she thought, however. It’s why she reached out to the Needy Family Fund this year, a fund some of relatives living locally have used previously, she said.

Living in Milton with her husband and two children — an 11-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son — the family has had to adjust to a lack of public transportation and a new environment.The family car is not currently running, so she and her husband borrow a vehicle to get to work and wherever else they need to get.

“We moved here because we wanted a fresh start,” Carmichael said. “We’ve visited here in the past and thought it would be a good place to raise a family. We wanted to get the kids out of the city and have a better life.”

Carmichael works at Concordia United Dental in Williamsport. Her husband works at the Weis Market Distribution Center in Milton, but it’s been tough getting to places without a vehicle and creating a foundation.

For Christmas, she just wants her kids to be happy.

“We want them to be comfortable and happy,” she said. “They could use some clothes, my daughter likes unicorns.”

Carmichael said she and her family are grateful for the outreach from the Salvation Army and the Needy Family Fund.

“We just don’t want to fall behind, and this gives us an opportunity to give the kids a nice Christmas,” she said.

Since 1987, The Needy Family Fund, sponsored by The Daily Item, Sunbury Broadcasting Corp. and BB&T Bank, along with the Degenstein Foundations, has raised more than $2.8 million during the holidays to assist the Valley’s less fortunate. It is administered by Salvation Army citadels in Milton and Sunbury.

This year’s goal is $100,000. The latest total is $14,368.13, thanks to $100 from Robert M. Hontz, of New Columbia, and $40 from Florence J. Hayes, of Lewisburg.

People can make checks payable to The Daily Item Fund for Needy Families and mail or drop them off to program co-sponsor BB&T Bank, 1104 N. Fourth St., Sunbury, PA 17801. Donors can also visit any local BB&T branch where they will process the deposited donation, mail a check to the 1104 N. Fourth St. branch or donate online at


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