Before his death, Bill Litto dreamed of a co-op babysitting program that would give adoptive parents an opportunity to "swap out" babysitting with other adoptive parents, providing them with a chance to have a respite.
Litto and his long-term partner Alicia Covey were foster parents to two young children who both had special needs. He passed away from cancer in April 2010, but his memory lives on in the form of Hillside's Litto's Legacy. More than 30 adopted children and their families participated in the program with fun hayrides and a campfire on Grand Island July 6.
Hillside Litto's Legacy hosted a summer celebration in Grand Island at Sparks Trading Post, 2630 Bedell Road. The event welcomed adoptive parents and their children, giving them the opportunity to have a respite, complete with horse rides, hayrides, a barbeque and campfire. Litto's Legacy is a fairly new program, launched last fall with the support of a $5,000 grant from AdoptUSKids.
The respite program is named after Hillside Children's Center, an affiliate of Hillside Family of Agencies, a youth and family services organization celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. Hillside Children's Center is a care provider for youth and families with a wide range of emotional, behavioral or life-circumstance challenges. Hillside Children's Center offers mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, special education, safety net, and developmental disabilities services to children and families throughout Western and Central New York. Last year, Hillside Family of Agencies provided services to 12,636 youth and families in need.
According to Julianna Monacelli, supervisor of consumer public relations for the Hillside Family of Agencies, people in the community can donate to Litto's Legacy by calling 848-6419.