The Christmas carols were blasting jovially from speakers throughout the Woodbury Commons outlets on Saturday; beyond the annoyance of the inundation when Thanksgiving was still ten days away, I felt a frisson of guilt with every reference to the joy of giving, as I was shopping pretty much exclusively for myself.
Sometimes, though, an early start on the holidays is a necessity: the Anna House holiday party is on December 12th, less than a month away, and the fundraising for it began weeks ago. At this event, the children of the backstretch workers and Anna House are brought into a room stocked with donations—toiletries, clothing, gloves, jewelry, toys—so that they can choose items to give to their families for Christmas.
While many organizations make sure that children in difficult economic circumstances find presents under their Christmas tree, Anna House goes beyond that to teaching the children the joy of giving to others. All of the children are given an adult host who escorts them through the gift room; part of the fun of volunteering is witnessing the very serious expressions on the children’s faces as they consider their options: maybe this for my grandmother? Do you think that my little brother would like this? My mother loves perfume…do you have any?
You can help in a number of ways: by donating cash so that staff and volunteers can purchase presents; by donating items with which to stock the gift room; by donating American Express rewards points, which the Belmont Child Care Association can use as cash; by donating time at the event; by spreading the word about the event and the need for donations.
According to a recent release, last year the BCCA gave away over $7,000 worth of gifts, and used over $300 worth of wrapping paper, and over $100 of ribbon. Your donations ensure that this event is a success for the children, and that Anna House can continue its work of educating the children in the arts, in science, and in sports.
At home in Saratoga for Thanksgiving, my mother and I will be indulging in one of our newest holiday traditions: shopping for this event, loading carts with gifts for fathers and mothers, newborn and teenage siblings. This isn’t a good time for non-profit organizations, and I know that few of us have extra money lying around. But every little bit counts, and if, like me, you’re carrying around a little guilt born of recent self-indulgence, this is a terrific form of expiation.
Contributions can be made by checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Google Donations.
The Belmont Child Care Association
2150 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 11003
516 488 2103