November is the month when Americans gather with family and friends, share a traditional Thanksgiving meal and express gratitude for the good things in life. It is also a time to reflect on our blessings and gain awareness about those who may not be as fortunate.
Here in Rockland County we are blessed to live in a part of the world where freedom and opportunity are the foundations of our society. But, as we gather to give thanks, let us not forget those without homes or those who are hungry.
Catholic Charities, our Department of Social Services (DSS) and our Department of Mental Health (DMH) are working together to operate the County warming center for homeless single adults. Every night from November 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019, these adults can spend the night in safety, get a hot meal, take a shower and even do laundry.
Last season DSS and DMH were able to connect 38 people with permanent housing options. We are working to help the most vulnerable people in our County be safe and get them connected to the services they need.
We are also blessed to have numerous organizations in Rockland dedicated to helping those in need. From People to People to Meals on Wheels, from the Red Cross to the Salvation Army, I urge local residents to find a way to reach out to those who are in need this holiday season. Every little bit helps. Put an extra canned good in your shopping cart to drop off at a food drive. Schedule time to give blood, the next County Blood Drive is Wednesday, December 5th in the Lobby of Building A, 50 Sanatorium Rd, Pomona.
As the holiday season approaches, DSS is once again collecting new toys and clothing to be given to the children in their care. Last year, we were able to present each foster child and the children that are residents of our family shelter with a gift for the holidays. We aim to continue that tradition. We have shared this request with our employees who were beyond generous last year and this year I am sharing it with you.
Please consider donating to these children by dropping off a new toy or clothing in one of the collection boxes that will be available, starting the day after Thanksgiving, in many of our buildings. You can find collection boxes here:
- Building A, Lobby, 50 Sanatorium Rd, Pomona
- Building C, CS Unit Reception Area, 50 Sanatorium Rd, Pomona
- Building L, 2nd Floor, 50 Sanatorium Rd, Pomona
- County Clerk’s Office, Lobby, 1 South Main St, Suite 100, New City
- County Executive’s Office, 11 New Hempstead Rd, New City
This is a time when any gesture, no matter how small, can make a big difference in someone else’s quality of life. It is at that moment that you will truly enjoy the spirit of this holiday. This Thanksgiving Day, I ask that you take stock and appreciate everything you have and that you please reach out to those in need during this holiday season.