SYRACUSE, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), recognizing the increased need for services for low-income families in Onondaga County this holiday season, announced that his office in the State Office Building in Syracuse will serve as a drop-off location for food and toys to support the Christmas Bureau efforts this year.
“When I became aware of the Christmas Bureau’s urgent need for donations, I asked what I could do to help,” said Senator Valesky, Vice President Pro Tempore of the Senate. “The holiday season is about community, about being thankful for what you have and helping those in need. Though times are tough for many of us, even a small donation can help make the holidays special for those who can’t afford it.”
The Christmas Bureau, a Central New York tradition for decades, is a collection of organizations, coordinated by The Salvation Army, that collects and distributes food and toys to families in need.
A record number of families—nearly 3,500—is predicted to register this year, up from nearly 2,900 last year. This dramatic increase in demand is coupled with a decrease in donations.
Families who register must live in Onondaga County, have a child 16 or younger, and meet income criteria. Each registered family will receive a food basket containing all of the ingredients to make a holiday meal, including a frozen turkey, as well as extra food to help them during the school break. Each child receives one toy, one book, and a stocking stuffer grab bag.
The Christmas Bureau is in need of non-perishable items, especially peanut butter, cans of spaghetti sauce, stuffing and cereal, and children’s toys (newborn-13 years old).
Donations will be accepted at the State Office Building (first floor lobby and the Senator’s office on the eighth floor), 333 East Washington St., Syracuse, through Dec. 17, and at the following public locations: City of Syracuse Fire Houses, Bank of America Branches throughout Onondaga County, Liverpool Public Library, BJ's in East Syracuse and Clay, The Salvation Army headquarters at 677 S. Salina St., Carousel Mall, ShoppingTown Mall and Great Northern Mall.
The Christmas Bureau relies on volunteers to sort and distribute the donated items. Distribution will take place at the Oncenter on Dec. 22 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.