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Hillside family of agencies kicks off its annual gift-giving program for those in need

by jmaloni
Wed, Nov 21st 2012 07:00 pm

"Hillside Special Santas" will provide holiday gifts for youth and families in Buffalo

Hillside Family of Agencies has announced its annual "Hillside Special Santas." The holiday gift-giving program benefits the 12,636 youth and families served by Hillside Family of Agencies Buffalo-area affiliates: Hillside Children's Center and Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. Hillside affiliates provide youth and family human services, including child welfare, mental health, youth development, juvenile justice, special education and developmental disabilities services.

These days, families are in greater need of financial support - especially around the holidays. Now, more than ever, those served by Hillside Family of Agencies do not have the resources to purchase holiday gifts for their children. The goal of "Hillside Special Santas" is to provide every child in each family served by the non-profit with three modest gifts.

"We hope that the community will keep our Hillside youth and families in mind as they shop for the holidays," said Heather VanDyne, "Hillside Special Santa" coordinator. "We are thankful for the continued support from donors and our community partners. The youth that receive gifts from Hillside are incredibly grateful and touched to know that someone in our community cares and is thinking about them during this time of the year."

How You Can Become a 'Hillside Special Santa'

As you are shopping this holiday season, pick up an extra gift or two for a youth in the Buffalo area that is served by Hillside Family of Agencies. Some of the most needed items (new unwrapped gifts only, please) include:

  • Sports balls (soccer, football and basketball)
  • Jewelry
  • Sports watches for girls and boys
  • Duffle bags, drawstring bags, sports bags and purses
  • Cologne, body sprays and body kits for teenage girls and boys
  • Lotions, make-up, hair supplies for teenage girls
  • Hoodies/logo sweatshirts for all ages
  • MP3 players (under $25)
  • Learning/building toys for young children
  • Books for all ages

Through Dec. 17, gifts may be dropped off at "Hillside Special Santas" community partner locations, including KeyBank and Buffalo Athletic Club. To learn more about "Hillside Special Santas," visit www.hillside.com and click on the "Hillside Special Santas" reindeer or call 716-848-6416.

Locally, the Hillside affiliates that will receive gifts from the community through "Hillside Special Santas" includes Hillside Children's Center and Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. Hillside Children's Center serves youth with emotional, behavioral or mental disorders. Services include therapeutic foster care, adoption, residential, day treatment, juvenile justice, developmental disabilities, preventive, independent living and school-based services.

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection is a youth development and anti-dropout program serving students at South Park High School. It was established to help youth stay in school, achieve academic success, and earn their high school diplomas. HW-SC creates a web of services to assist students in developing the habits, acquiring the skills, and demonstrating the desire to become contributing, responsible young people at home, in school, at work, and within the community.

About Hillside Family of Agencies

Celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2012, Hillside Family of Agencies is one of the oldest family and youth nonprofit human services organizations in the U.S. The youth and family services organization provides child welfare, mental health, youth development, juvenile justice, special education and developmental disabilities services across central and western New York and in Prince George's County, Md. Last year, Hillside Family of Agencies provided services to 12,636 youth and families in need.

Hillside Family of Agencies is made up of affiliates: Crestwood Children's Center, Hillside Children's Center, Hillside Children's Foundation, Hillside Shared Services, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection and Snell Farm Children's Center. For more information, visit www.hillside.com.

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