It's the season of giving and local organizations are working hard to try to fill wish lists of families in need across the Capital Region.
The South End Children's Cafe in Albany is just one organization helping families in the area, and on Tuesday, the Local Laborers' 190 stopped by to help fulfill some wishes.
"We usually have what's called a giving tree that they just take a tab off a tree and each kid gets a gift," said Anthony Fresina, Business Manager of the Laborers' Local 190. "This year, given the pandemic, we thought it would be better to do something like this."
Union members stopped by the South End Children’s Cafe in Albany with a massive donation of both of those things — along with blankets, toothbrushes, masks and sanitizer— to ensure people have the basic items they need this holiday season. Full story @ 5. pic.twitter.com/KVJRX99Zt7— Erika Leigh (@_ErikaLeigh) December 15, 2020
The union dropped off a mass donation of necessities for families in the area. Pillows, pajamas, blankets, masks, sanitizer and toothbrushes — something they were seeing on many of the giving tree's tags.
"It's tough to see that so many people go without these simple things that we take for granted every year," Fresina said.
"It's a thoughtful gift. It's a gift that says 'we want to keep you warm,'" said Tracie Killar, founder and director of the South End Children's Cafe.
And because it's a gift that keeps on giving, even after Christmas has passed.
"When you're filling out a Christmas list, you think 'what would the kids want when they wake up Christmas morning?'" Killar said. "But then Christmas has come and gone and you still have a need for blankets, pillows and pajamas."
While there multiple donations being brought by the South End Children's Cafe on Tuesday, they can always use more help.
"So we of course, always need food. From March until now, we're over 100,000 food items and groceries served. We've doubled just because of COVID," Killar said.
The South End Children's Cafe is serving regular meals, but also has cabinets in front of its 25 Warren Street location where people can drop off and pick up grocery items they need. The organization is also fulfilling delivery requests for groceries every Friday. This week, Christmas gifts go out with them, but the need for grocery items is constant.
The organization is also seeking volunteers who are comfortable driving in the snow as we head into the winter months to make those Friday groceries deliveries.
Monetary donations also always help them continue to serve meals and help families in the area.
You can learn more here.