WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Stewart’s Shops customers are showing the true spirit of the holidays by donating their change at the registers for the yearly Holiday Match program. To thank patrons, Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake worked a shift behind the register.
Dake chose the shop at 6th Street and 3rd Avenue in Watervliet because, for the first half of this year’s program, the store had the largest increase in donations over last year’s program. “It’s just such a great testament to the hard work of these partners and the customers in this shop who really care about their communities,” Dake told NEWS10.
The 35-year-old program has raised over $32 million for local children’s charities, including the Boys’ and Girl’s Club and the YMCA.
The Center for Disability Services is a longtime recipient of Holiday Match funding, totaling over $124,000 since 2007. CEO Greg Sorrentino is honored to get this support from Stewart’s Shops and its customers. His nonprofit has used the money for educational and socialization programs for children with autism, as well as their St. Margaret’s Center, which is their pediatric nursing facility.
“Those are kids with all levels of disability, including kids on ventilators,” Sorrentino explained, “These dollars go to help support those kids, programs for those kids, to help give them a better life.”
As of Tuesday, Stewart’s Shops has collected just over $833,000 since this year’s program started on Thanksgiving Day. “There’s one more day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than there was last year, so I would love to see us get to that million-dollar mark and get $2 million in kids’ hands,” said Dake.
Nonprofits can apply until January 31 to receive funding through the Holiday Match Program.