Written by Matthew Ern Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The spirit of giving during the holiday season is ramping up and two Mineola-based organizations were one of the first beneficiaries. The Family & Children’s Association and the Winthrop Cancer Center for Kids recently received 325 Toys
“R” Us gift cards totaling $8,125 from MSC Industrial Direct Co., a metalworking supply company headquartered in Melville. The two groups have received gift cards from MSC’s Annual Toys “R” Us Holiday Gift Card Program for the past several years.
The Family & Children’s Association is a multi-faceted organization that helps foster children, homeless youth, runaway teens, struggling families, veterans, and even senior citizens. While the association has a hand in many types of community outreach, it started out as an orphanage and still places an important emphasis on housing. The goal is simple—to keep families together.
“We are here in the community and people who feel blessed want to give back and we allow them to do that, right here on Long Island,” says Director of Marketing and Communications Joyce Mullen. She feels the Toys “R” Us gift cards are perfect for kids of all ages and can even be used to provide clothing.
In many cases, these families would have no other way to provide gifts for the children.
“There’s a tremendous sense of gratitude from the parents,” Mullen added. “They’re overwhelmed most of the time, and the kids are thrilled.”
The donations have become a permanent part of how they help the community, and Mullen says the association is only able to provide relief for families with the help of donations from companies like MSC.
The Winthrop Cancer Center for Kids has been a recipient since 2006 and MSC has donated to the Family & Children Association since 2010.
“When young children are in the hospital, it’s always heartwarming to be able to do something special for them and their families, especially during the holiday season,” says Winthrop Director of Development Lynn Drucker. “Thanks to this wonderful program, we are able to work with our medical and social-work staff to identify those families who are most in need for the cards.”
The program also allows the families to get essential items such as diapers, formula, and clothing.
Over the years, these two organizations have benefited from 1,925 gift cards totaling $48,125.
MSC’s program also donates to other hospitals and organizations across Long Island and New York, and this year, 2,000 gift cards have been donated to 14 such groups.
“One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is the opportunity to give back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Alessandra Cavalluzzi, senior manager, community relations at MSC. “Our annual Toys “R” Us Holiday Gift
Card Program allows us to lift the spirits and warm the hearts of children and families long after the wrapping paper hits the floor."