I think we can all agree that
2019 zoomed on by
The older I get the faster the years seem to fly by. On the bright side this is my favorite time of the year, it starts with Halloween ushering in the creepy scares which is one of my guilty delights even though I will have to sleep with the light on for a week. Then comes Thanksgiving, as someone who loves food I can safely say hands down that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday without a doubt, of course it is also my favorite in that I get to appreciate all those I love, but like there is also stuffing and mash, so it is a win win of great things.
Then we get to Christmas which just so happens to be my birthday as well, I know before you say that must suck, it doesn’t. I always have my birthday off no questions and secondly no, I never got screwed in the gift department. To be honest as a kid I thought it was annoying as I could never go out on my birthday, as an adult I think it is great because I never have to go out on my birthday.
So from mid October to January 2nd I am pumped, everyone is in a good mood, everyone can bundle up and the dark colors of the season come out to play (I am a sucker for dark red)
After January 2nd, I hate snow, I hate the cold and I am just counting the days down until spring.
Another aspect of this time of year that I love is that everyone appears to be in a charitable mood, strangers make eye contact and smile, people are polite for once. The holiday giving time and feelings are upon us.
However for some families this time of year is a time of stress, parents & guardians wondering how they are going to afford the added expenses that come with this time of year. I can’t imagine that significant level of frustration they are under. No one should have to worry about putting food on the table during the holidays or at any time.
Looking for a way to help this holiday season? It doesn’t have to be monetary either, the donation of your time is also greatly appreciated. Check out these local non-profits making a difference in the Rochester area.
Pirate Toy Fund
In 2018. the Pirate Toy Fund facilitated the distribution of more then 30,000 toys around the greater Rochester Regions to children in need. The Pirate Toy Fund is a non-profit started in 1995 by a children’s entertainer, Gary the Happy Pirate, since then they have distributed over 250,000 new toys for children in Rochester.
Amazon Prime member? They have made it even easier this year by creating an Amazon wish list, with item prices ranging from $3 to $20. This takes the guess work out of it and enables you to donate their most requested items.
Where To Donate:
New unwrapped toys can be dropped off year round to the Pirate Fund Donation box located at the Strong Museum of Play, Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex, Eastview Mall or Greece Town Hall.
Not able to make a financial donation, no worries, they are always looking for volunteers. Head on over to their website here to apply to volunteer. This time of year they really need help as they need individuals to sort out the toys for quicker retrieval times.
Villa of Hope
Take part this year in the Villa of Hope’s Holiday Wishes Program. Villa of Hope is a rehabilitation center for young adults in the Rochester area recovering from various situations. The Holiday Wishes Program provides a gift to every young person they serve, for some they state, this will be the only gift they receive this year. Last year they were able to distribute 700 gifts to kids and families they serve.
How to Donate:
Villa of Hope has partnered with local Starbucks and Summit Federal Credit Union, they will soon announce the participating locations. If you wish to donate, visit a participating location and choose a tag. The tags have different items on them and you can choose the one you are comfortable picking up. Remove the tag and purchase some or all of the items listed on the tag, once you have purchased said items, return your items to the participating location with the tag stapled to it. It is quick and easy.
Hillside Family of Agencies
Hillside provides comprehensive health, education and human services to families in need in the Rochester Area. Each holiday season they host their annual giving program called Special Santa. This community collaboration enabled them last year to hand out more than 12,000 gifts to nearly 4,500 young people and families served by Hillside. They goal is to provide 3 gifts to each of the youth receiving services as well as any siblings or children that reside in the same home.
How to Donate: When doing you shopping this year pick up a gift or two, take the new unwrapped toy and drop if off at any of their participating partners. Their partner list is quite extensive, view it here to find the location that works best for you. Hillside will take care of the rest, they will do their best to match up the toys to that of the children’s wishlist’s.
Some of the most requested items are Lego sets, Barbies, Action Figures, infant and toddler toys, view the full list here.
This holiday season give back to those in the community that could use a little help this gift giving season. It does not have to be a monetary commitment either, many non-profit organizations survive by the generosity of those who volunteer their time and effort. These are only 3 organizations in Rochester making a difference but there are many others that need help in any way they can get it. Take time this season to think about those less fortunate and give back not because you have to but because you want to. Want to contribute a story on a non-profit in Rochester that you are passionate about, contribute today to have your story featured this Holiday season.
The Holiday Giving Season is here! Join us as we give back to the Rochester Community we all know and love.