We are looking forward to the coming winter holiday and especially to the coming new year. Like most everyone else these days our routine here at the Wayne Township Trustee Office, has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for our services has risen sharply as the economy has been hit hard by the corona virus and the subsequent reduction in jobs and business activity. At the same time we have had to limit contact with our clientele to keep both them and us safe. Our business is being handled almost entirely online, over the phone, and through the United States Postal Service now, with folks coming in to our office only for a rare document signing or the like. This works well most of the time, but it is not ideal.

That and the increased need have made our jobs more challenging than usual.

The pandemic has also meant a change in most of our outreach and other extra services. For example, we had to postpone our annual Family Fun Day this year. We were disappointed not to be able to have this special event that brought such joy to the Wayne Township children, so for this winter holiday season we took some of the event funds and bought turkeys and hams for a drive-through Holiday Giveaway held on Thursday, December 17 at our Superior Street office. Cars lined up and our staff members placed one item per vehicle in the trunks, assuring good distancing while providing a needed main course for over 90 Wayne Township families’ holiday dinners.

One of our outreach programs that did continue in 2020 was providing help for 40 of our client families putting presents under their tree in a combined effort with the Allen County Christmas Bureau. Tarra Martin, Director of Intake and Investigations, led this effort for WTTO for the 6th year in a row. Starting in August her staff members began qualifying and signing up recipients for the program. That part of the process was completed and the information turned in by Labor Day. The Christmas Bureau then matched recipient families with generous donors from the community who took the sizes and other needed information to purchase and wrap gifts for the family members. From there the Bureau collected and organized the gifts and then we, along with other organizations involved, picked them up from their warehouse to get them to the client families. Due to COVID this year, our staff delivered to clients’ homes instead of having the families come to our office to get their gifts.

As you can see this is a huge collaborative effort, and Tarra was particularly grateful for the extra help and friendliness of the Christmas Bureau workers who helped load and organize our truck so efficiently in the best way for us to deliver them to our families’ homes.

So having reached the end of a wild and crazy 2020, we are looking forward to some peace and joy in the coming New Year. All of us here at the Wayne Township Trustee Office wish all of you readers of the Waynedale News, “Happy Holidays!”

Wayne Township Trustee - Austin Knox

Wayne Township Trustee - Austin Knox

Trustee Austin Knox is a Fort Wayne native who, on January 10, 2020, was unanimously elected trustee at a caucus of Democratic precinct committee leaders of Wayne Township. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer