Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to bond with family and friends over a warm meal, indulge on seasonal desserts like apple or pumpkin pie, and enjoy a football game. For others, though, it’s another day of struggling with hunger, heating and homelessness. It is our responsibility as a community to share our good fortune with those in need, and I urge all New Yorkers to consider contributing to the many great organizations that support the less fortunate.
As residents of the Finger Lakes Region, we all benefit from a community that thrives and looks out for each other. Helping our neighbors is one of our greatest qualities. Our region has been blessed with some of the finest people and organizations in New York. There are groups dedicated to causes ranging from combating hunger to clothing the homeless and nearly everything in between. This Thanksgiving, it is my sincere hope that each New Yorker has a day filled with opportunity and hope, and through your support you can make that happen in your community.
CONSIDER SUPPORTING A LOCAL ORGANIZATION
There is no shortage of outlets for your generosity, and there is no more important time of year for you to help in their mission. To contribute your time, money or resources, consider some of these organizations:
- Foodlink (http://foodlinkny.org/fight_hunger/ways-to-give/) and the Food Bank of Central New York (http://www.foodbankcny.org/support-us/) host food drives and take donations to stock shelters and other area hunger-relief agencies.
- Gleaners Community Kitchen in Canandaigua has been helping its community for more than 25 years. Information about opportunities to assist with donations of time, food and money is available at www.gleanerskitchen.org.
- The Salvation Army provides food, clothes and comfort to those in need. Help improve someone’s holiday by visiting http://empire.salvationarmy.org/.
- The Victor Farmington Food Cupboard is an all-volunteer effort and is always in need of your generosity. Visit http://vffood.org/ for information.
- The Geneva Center of Concern provides food, personal items, diapers and formula on request. Information is available at https://www.facebook.com/GenevaCenterofConcern/.
- Finger Lakes Community College has an extensive list of opportunities in the Finger Lakes Region. Visit the website at http://www.flcc.edu/volunteer/volunteer_all.cfm.
HELP IS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE IN NEED
For those who may need assistance or know someone who does, call 211 “Before the problem gets too big” or visit 211Lifeline.org to find local organizations that offer a variety of support. For example, to locate a local food pantry this holiday season, select “search our community resource database” then enter “food pantries” in the search field and select the city or town you’re interested in. Organizations contact information will be provided and they are eager to assist, so take advantage of them.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.