Dover Elks receive grant to help Code Purple

DOVER— Dover Elks Lodge No. 1903, secured a $10,000 grant in January that will be used towards helping the Code Purple organization in the city.

The group cited the diligent efforts of its membership, led by Doris J. Solomon.

Ms. Solomon died before the Dover Elks received the money. Kathy King, acting Exalted Ruler of Dover Elks, said the moment has been bittersweet.

“She was instrumental in applying for this grant,” Ms. King said. “Months before the application was started on, she was thinking that it would be a great thing to do.”

“She passed away in January,” she added. “She knew that we got the grant, but we didn’t get the money because it came in January. The

Kathy King, acting Exalted Ruler of Dover Elks 1903 and Yvonne Heisler, right, chairwoman of the grant for the Dover Elks will use funds from a $10,000 grant to help Code Purple. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

Kathy King, acting Exalted Ruler of Dover Elks 1903 and Yvonne Heisler, right, chairwoman of the grant for the Dover Elks will use funds from a $10,000 grant to help Code Purple. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

check came in right after she passed away.”

Dover Elks applied for the Impact Grant, which is used toward making a significant difference in the community through a charitable project.

The organization Dover Elks decided to select was Code Purple, which provides shelter and food for the homeless during winter nights when the temperature drops below freezing.

“We chose Code Purple because Doris was already surveying the homeless issues in Dover,” said Yvonne Heisler, chairperson of the grant for the Dover Elks. “She had an interest in the organization.”

Ms. Heisler said the grant money isn’t given to the organization. Dover Elks disburses it based on Code Purple’s needs.

“Representatives come to our meetings and explain what their needs are and we just try to fulfill that,” Ms. Heisler said. “The money has to go towards helping the people. So we try to figure out ways to do that.”

Some of the items purchased so far include sleeping bags, tents, food and shampoo.

“We put shoes on some of the men,” Ms. Heisler said. “Also, we made lunch bags for the men during the weekend when Code Purple isn’t in affect, so they have to a place to get food.”

Dover Elks also bought a new washer machine for Code Purple.

“The Code Purple house does all the laundry for the sanctuary — which is a lot of laundry — so we bought them another one,” Ms. Heisler added. “I know that will them out a lot.”

Ms. King said it’s been great helping those in need.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Ms. King said. “I had the experience of taking the boots to some of the guys, and to watch how excited they were to get a pair of boots was a great feeling.

“That’s what the Elks Lodge is all about,” she added. “We’re community oriented and we want to be able to be out in the community and help people.”

Dover Elks has done other charitable work throughout the city as well. Last year they purchased a new playground set for Shepherd Place in Dover and continue to help many veterans in the area.

“We want the community to know that we’re here to help,” Ms. Heisler said. “I don’t think the community knows what we do and we just want to let them know that we’re here for them.”

They hope to apply for the grant again next year.

“We just want to continue to help as much as we can,” Ms. Heisler said.

Ms. King said they do it all for Ms. Solomon.

“When she found out she was so emotional and it would have been nice for her to go through the process with us of helping these people out because of all the hard works she put into it.”

Arshon Howard is a freelance writer living in Dover. E-mail comments to

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