BEAM is a wonderful organization that has been providing short-term assistance to area residents for 27 years. BEAM's work would not be possible w/o huge community participation and hundreds of loyal volunteers. BEAM is especially interested in supporting children and families. Every year Back to School with BEAM provides clothing, vouchers for new shoes, new backpacks, school supplies, books, library cards, vision screening, haircuts, and even dental care free to about 1,000 children. BEAM also distributed about 5,000 toys at Christmas 2011, and about 600 Thanksgiving baskets in 2011, along with about 2 tons of food a week and rent and utility assistance, free tax prep and more. It is not uncommon for people that have been helped by BEAM to return to help others.