ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Children's Agenda says 48% of Rochester's children lives in poverty. That's why the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester could use a community boost to make sure holiday time is a special one for the kids who go there.

About 150 Rochester children ages 6 to 18 spend some time at the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester every day for things like gym time, counseling and tutoring.

What You Need To Know

  • The Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is collecting toys to give to its 150+ Club kids ages 6-18

  • BGC offers after-school programs, meals, counseling, fitness, a STEM room, reading program and tutoring center

  • The majority of children who attend BGC live in poverty

“The majority of our kids are coming from homes that have experienced poverty or a close family relative who suffered from COVID has passed away,” said Koralee Bernardo, from the Boys & Girls Club.

It is not easy, but with dedicated staff like Koralee Bernardo who has been here for 18 years—along with community partners and local businesses and you—can all help make Christmas a good one for the Club kids by donating a gift to the Boys & Girls Club Toy Drive and big Breakfast with Santa event that’s back, in-person for the first time since 2019.

“It is a good thing,” Bernardo said. “This is our 23rd year doing Breakfast with Santa and sometimes this is the only gift these kids get. I know that's sad to hear so that why it’s so it’s so exciting to see them the morning of ripping open their gift, excited and talking with friends.”

Businesses like Woods Oviatt Gilman, O’Connell Electric and others want to make sure that every Club youth family member gets a gift too. There are toy collection bins set up at more than two dozen businesses around Greater Rochester. You can also click and donate by checking out the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester Amazon wish list.