Astor Services for Children & Families is a community-based non-profit organization that provides children’s mental health services, child welfare services, and early childhood development services. Astor serves children and families in New York State’s Mid-Hudson Valley region and the Bronx. Last year we helped more than 1,400 children and their families experience the magic of the holidays. 2020 has had a devastating impact on our families. COVID-19 disproportionately hit families living at or below the poverty line. According to the Brookings Institution, measured rates of food insecurity by the spring of 2020 were found to impact at-risk children at a rate unprecedented in modern times. Our number one priority is the safety of our caring community. In order to provide contactless delivery, the 2020 Adopt-A-Family program is requesting monetary donations and gift cards, rather than wrapped presents. A gift card to Walmart will be sent directly to the participating families so that they themselves can purchase gifts for the holidays. Thank you for lending your support to make a child’s wish come true. You will be there in spirit - as you stand in solidarity with a parent you do not know - as they watch their children get things that they need. (And, yes, a few things they don't.) If there is anything we can learn from this pandemic, it is that we are all vulnerable. And that there is beauty in simple acts of kindness, agency - and sharing.
WHY WE HAVE SELECTED WALMART. For this particular year, we have decided that Walmart is the gift card that will offer the best range of items for our recipient families. Walmart offers many food items, as well as clothing for all ages, necessary items for a home (sheets, kitchen utensils), electronics useful for digital education, and FUN THINGS TOO - things like toys. (Because no kid wants only socks.) It also feels important to us to affirm the dignity of our families by enabling them to select what they need without revealing how basic these things may be. We are all proud. A gift card gives a parent the respect to which they are entitled in selecting school supplies, food - and maybe that Star Wars Lego set someone will never forget.