A press release from New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt:
On Wednesday, New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt announced he would be joining forces with S.E.R.V. Niagara this holiday season to bring dinners, gifts, Christmas decorations and care packages to military and veteran families in Niagara County.
“Making sure we are able to look after our veterans and the families of active military personnel during the holidays is really an important aspect of the armed services community. While the holidays may be a joyous time for most, for some, it is the most difficult part of the year. For those veterans who are alone or spouses who are at home while their loved ones are on tour, the holidays are a reminder of the costs of serving.”
This year, Ortt will host a countywide toy drive with S.E.R.V. Niagara, Walmart, A Hand Up Inc., and several police departments across the county. Toys will be collected at the various departments and then distributed on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 21-22, with a parade of holiday-decorated police and other vehicles.
“I am thrilled that S.E.R.V. Niagara reached out and asked if I would like to be part of its program this year,” Ortt said. “I want to thank S.E.R.V. Niagara for all the amazing work they do and also to thank Walmart for continuing to be an amazing supporter of our military, veterans and their families.”
Each year, Ortt and Walmart host a warrior flight for veterans of various generations to visit Washington, D.C., and tour the multiple military memorials. Because of the pandemic this year, however, the warrior flight was not possible. Instead, Ortt and Walmart have decided to use the available funding to assist S.E.R.V. Niagara in expanding its holiday program.
“It’s been a long and arduous year for so many people,” said Jennifer O. D’Andrea, president and founder of S.E.R.V. Niagara. “With the uncertainty of COVID and lack of donations as a result of shutdowns and canceled fundraisers, we were nervous that we weren’t going to be able to expand our holiday outreach to meet the needs of our local veteran families. But with the support of Sen. Ortt and Walmart, and the collaboration of the local police departments and other local businesses and donors, we are anticipating the largest and best Christmas we’ve ever had!”
“One of the core pillars of Walmart’s national and local giving is to help support veterans and military families,” said Jason Klipa, New York Walmart director of public affairs and government relations. “We appreciate the sacrifice made by military families, especially this time of year, so we are proud to help S.E.R.V. Niagara make the holiday brighter this year.”