NY Race Track Chaplaincy Brings Christmas To The Backstretch

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy, which is based at Belmont Park and provides a variety of services to the backstretch workers of Belmont, Aqueduct, and Saratoga, is once again offering its “Adopt A Family” Program for Christmas.

Last month, the Chaplaincy provided turkeys and other supplies so that backstretch workers could prepare Thanksgiving dinner; earlier this week, it held a Christmas party for workers who remain in Saratoga over the winter. Next week, it will hold its annual Christmas carnival at Belmont for the children of the people who take care of the horses all year long.

And with the support of generous donors, it will distribute gifts to backstretch families in need.

From Chaplain Humberto Chavez:

“Families on our list are in real need or experiencing crisis. They are from one of the three NYRA race tracks, and as horses are moved to warmer states, many workers in New York lose their jobs and struggle to make it every single week. Your donation will help to give these families hope, peace, and a joyous holiday season.”

Sponsors provide new winter clothing and a new toy for each child, and a grocery gift card for the family’s Christmas dinner. Additional gifts—such as clothing for the parents—are also welcome.

Family sponsorships can be shared, and groups are encouraged to sponsor large families together. The cost of sponsoring a family is tax-deductible.

Once you have selected a family, you will receive a list of the number of family members, along the sex, age, and clothes size of each child.  After wrapping and clearly tagging each gift, you can drop off your donations at the Chaplaincy’s Belmont Park office, just inside gate 6, by next Monday, December 8th.

If you are interesting in sponsoring a family, please call Program Coordinator Karen Chavez Barros at 516 488 6000 ext. 4063, Monday – Friday, 10 am – 3 pm.  You can also e-mail her at KarenAChavez@aol.com, writing “Christmas Sponsorship” in the subject line.

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