Local charities struggling to meet holiday demand


SCHENECTADY, NY (NEWS10) – A few local charities are hurting this holiday season. Specifically, one group called “Things of My Very Own.”

“At this point, we have so many children that were un-sponsored that anything you can bring us, we will have a child to match it with,” said Rayn Boncie.

Boncie is the founder of the organization and looks out for and helps hundreds of children across the Capital Region year-round.
Many of them living in an environment of abuse, negligence, or homelessness. At Christmas time, she has them fill out “wish tags”. They each write down their clothing and shoe size and many of their “wishes” are basic needs: gloves, hats, their own bed instead of sharing with siblings, a pillow, toothbrush, etc. Some arts and crafts and board games were also written down here and there.

“It’s a little difficult to read because it’s a 7-year-old boy, but it says our heat doesn’t work. He’s asking for warm blankets, winter boots and any kind of toy,” read Boncie.

Christmas, however, is now six days away and Boncie said they have hundreds of unfulfilled wish tags. “This year we had a high demand for wish tags. We sent them out to members of the community and local businesses. We had a lot come back, but we also had a lot that did not come back,” said Boncie.

She said many people are stopping by to pick up wish tags, but the problem they’re having this year is that they never went through with it. So now, not only do they not have anything to give the families, they also do not have the card with the specific needs and wishes that child wrote down.

Now, they’re scrambling to figure out who needs what, sorting through case files, which can take hours.

One local business that has helped out tremendously in this effort and continues to do so is Visco’s pizza in Scotia. They’ve been a pick-up and drop-off spot for wish tags for four years now.

“We take our tip money for the whole month of December and save it. Then at the end, when this is just about over, we take any tags that have not been filled and use our money to fill them,” said Anne Olds.

On top of delivering pizzas, Olds said they also load up any gifts they’ve collected and take them over to Things of My Very Own to help Boncie out as much as possible. Olds said it’s hard to read the cards without tearing up.

The deadline is Saturday in order to get everything sorted and distributed by Christmas. If you do not have the time to go out and buy something, but would still like to help, you can send them money to cover the cost of a tag. “They can make monetary donations on our website or Facebook page and then we have volunteers that will go out and shop for the children,” said Boncie.

Anyone can drop off gifts to Things Of My Very Own at 249 Green Street in Schenectady on Friday and Saturday. Visco’s will accept donations from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.



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