Family-to-Family Holiday Celebration in Yonkers

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

December 21, 2007

(35th District, NY) – The generosity and good cheer of the holiday season was evident today as State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins hosted a special Family to Family Holiday Celebration today at the Riverfront Library in the City of Yonkers.

The Family-to-Family program, a partnership between Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins office and the Family Service Society of Yonkers Division of Kindship Support and Technology, offers help and assistance to grandparents in the city who are raising their grandchildren or other younger relatives. A number of families in the 35th Senate District participated in the holiday celebration by providing toys and gifts for the children and seniors involved in the program.

I am so happy to see the holiday spirit is alive and well here today, said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Bringing together all of these remarkable people with the understanding that each gift we share is truly special gives me great joy, and I am so appreciative of all the help from the Family Service Society of Yonkers to make this program a reality.

According to Westchester County Department of Senior Services and Programs, approximately 4000 grandparents in the county have official custody of their grandchildren or other younger family members, and in terms of how much full-time care of children that seniors are actually undertaking today the figures may be even much higher. It is no secret that holiday spending is a luxury for a lot of seniors on fixed-incomes, and that is why the Family-to-Family program and other similar initiatives around the holidays are so welcome.

"Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins has been a strong advocate for grandparents and relative caregivers and the children they are raising over the past several years, first in her position as a Westchester County Legislator and now as a State Senator," said Carolyn Fluckinger, Director of the Division of Kindship Support and Technology Center. "She has an understanding of the sacrifice and commitment the caregivers have made to keep their families together. She also has great empathy for their plight and looks for ways to provide assistance. The Family Service Society of Yonkers is thrilled to partner with Senator Stewart-Cousins on the Family-to-Family Holiday Celebration to bring holiday cheer to families who would otherwise not have the financial means to provide gifts for one another.