For years, staff at The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center have spread holiday cheer throughout the Marketview Heights neighborhood by collecting and delivering gifts to kids in their program. This year, amidst the City’s water main break and an impending winter storm, was no exception.
A tradition at the Neighborhood Center is to have kids write a holiday list. Staff and members across the YMCA of Greater Rochester then choose a name from a list or Angel Tree and purchase gifts for their kiddos. In the past, kids flocked to the Neighborhood Center in eager anticipation of finding gifts with their names on them.
With the challenges presented this year, all worked together to have the gifts delivered directly to the kids at their homes.
“It’s incredible to be able to say that playing Santa and spreading holiday cheer to families in our community is part of our job here at the Y,” said Zach Smith, Urban Teen Program Director, who traveled to homes throughout Marketview Heights with Center Director, Jakob Elder.
During this time of year, we all look for a little extra love and magic. This is one way the Y seeks to serve the community in new and evolving ways, no matter the circumstances.
“I’m so proud of the dedication the team has for the families we care for,” said Jessica Kingsley, Executive Director of Urban Community Services. “When it comes right down to it, they are truly part of the Y family, and we would never miss the opportunity to bring some holiday cheer into their lives.”