Two years ago, United Way received a call from a school nurse asking for our help as some of the young children in her school did not have socks or underwear. Because of that call and many others, United Way embarked on a new endeavor to provide one place where our nonprofit partners, schools and faith-based organizations could go to in order to find basic necessities for infants and children of our community.
Last fall, United Way’s “The Children’s Corner” opened during our quarterly Day of Sharing program. Since then hundreds of children’s clothes, socks, diapers, hygiene items, and even toys have been shared with our partners to help their clients most in need.
We know that these items are sometimes beyond a families reach. Last fall, a father-to-be contacted us as the savings they had put aside for their soon-to-be-born baby had been wiped out by an unexpected car repair. In order to stay employed the car had to be repaired, but they no longer had any savings left to stock the nursery in advance of their child’s birth. Too many families in our community have parents working two jobs and still trying to cover costs – let alone put money aside for emergencies. The items that our partners find at The Children’s Corner provide peace of mind for a family in crisis, so the most vulnerable among us won’t suffer.
Next month, on Friday, June 8thwe will be opening our doors at Day of Sharing for our community partners to find items many of us consider basic necessities. However for those facing the choice between food or rent, these necessities are luxuries. To help make sure the shelves are stocked, United Way is holding a Community Diaper Drive during the month of May with requests of donations for new diapers and baby wipes for The Children’s Corner.
Anyone can participate, simply by purchasing a box of diapers or baby wipes and dropping these off during business hours (9am to 5pm) at United Way’s Poughkeepsie office, located at 75 Market Street. If you and your co-workers would like to run a drive at your employer's office, just call Jazmin Awada at 845-471-1900 ext 3106 to sign up.
You also can drop off diaper drive donations to 845 Crossfit (696 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie and 7 Nancy Court, Wappingers Falls) or at Allstate Agent Chelsea Wyant’s office (266 New Hackensack Road, Wappingers Falls).
For more information about The Children’s Corner and how you can become involved, go to www.uwdor.org/donate-childenscorneror call Rachel Johnson at 845-471-1900 ext 3118.
United Way would like to thank the following individuals for their part in making The Children’s Corner a reality: Denise Gorski, Dr. Peter M. Groffman & Ms. Katherine C. Bishop, Steven & Susan Howell, Ken Kosior and John P. O’Shea as well as foundations including Ann and Abe Effron Fund – Donor Advised of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and The Dyson Foundation, and the following organizations, AmerisourceBergen, Banana Republic, The Children’s Medical Group, MVP Healthcare, The Poughkeepsie Galleria, Toys R Us of Middletown and offices of Allstate Insurance Agents Lori Buhaglar, Patricia Carlucci, Roger Dwyer, Linda Land, Tom McHugh, John Pagan, Annalisa Romano, Justina Tozzi, Nancy Schneider-Viglotti and Chris Valente.