Progressive Democrats raise $20K for local homeless shelter

January 23, 2021

The Progressive Democrats of Sussex County presented more than $20,000 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to the Lighthouse for Broken Wings, a local shelter for homeless adults and families. 

The $20,480 in contributions came from about 100 members and friends of PDSC to help mark the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s MLK Jr. Day of Service. The organization also gave the shelter another $2,000 in gift cards for a local supermarket.

Toni Short, the shelter’s founder, said the donations will help secure a warm room and meals this winter for 35 adults and 25 children who are currently residing in the shelter.

“Each person who is here is in desperate need of a house and a job,” she said. “The local employment situation is suffering, in part because of the COVID epidemic. Hopefully, the situation for our homeless individuals will improve soon. In the meantime, I’m very thankful to the Progressive Democrats for this generous outpouring of support for those who need it most.”

For her dedication to this cause, Short, a registered nurse, has received the 2020 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award. She was presented the award  Jan. 18, and was recognized for providing “a holistic, wraparound approach to getting individuals and families experiencing homelessness back on their feet.” 

PDSC Chair Joanne Cabry said the fundraising response was “overwhelming and beyond our expectations.” The money was raised in less than two weeks following an email appeal. The $2,000 in gift cards represents a matching contribution from PDSC.   

“We decided that raising funds for our community’s homeless would be a fitting tribute to the empathy we know the new Biden administration will bring to Washington,” Cabry said. “If the response we received is a sign of things to come, better days are ahead.”

Lighthouse for Broken Wings is providing shelter this winter in a local motel. Short said housing the homeless in individual motel rooms is a cost-effective and safe way to shelter the homeless during the pandemic. 

Members of the PDSC Presidential Inaugural Committee Day of Service include Cyndi Brett, Joanne Cabry, Ruth Cohen, Lynda Holup, Kay Hubbard, Pat Makos, Anne Pikolas and Jill Roberts. Anyone interested in information on PDSC may email

Anyone wishing to contribute to Lighthouse for Broken Wings may send checks payable to Lighthouse for Broken Wings to 179 Rehoboth Ave. #123, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.

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