Realizing four years ago that the holiday gift-giving season leaves out a group of her constituents, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins came up with an idea. She created the Angel Project, which provides holiday gifts to grandparents on fixed incomes who are the sole providers to their grandchildren.
“We started this project to show support for those grandparents many of whom forgo their own basic needs to support their grandchildren; children whose parents are not able to care for them,” said Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins. “While there are many programs that give holiday gifts to needy children, few benefit the grandparents who sacrifice so much for their families.”
Thanks to a partnership with Family Service Society of Yonkers, Family Ties of Westchester, and the Greyston Community Garden Project, these grandparents were contacted and asked to create a wish list of what they would like.
The next step for the Senator was to find the volunteer gift-givers, the angels, who would do the gifting. The project matches angels with the grandparents’ wish lists. This year, over 90 seniors will receive their beautifully wrapped gifts from their angels at a special luncheon on Wednesday, December 18 at the Castle Royale in Yonkers.
“Each year we have more and more angels as we meet the needs of the grandparents who participate. I am so grateful for all the angels who have answered our call this year, many of whom have requested more than one grandparent, and the Yonkers Fire Fighters Local 628 have asked for 20. It’s because of their generosity and warmth that our grandparents are remembered this season,” the Majority Leader continued.
Both angels and grandparents come from throughout Westchester. Outreach to grandparents is done by the project’s non-profit partners. The Senator’s office gets the word out to prospective angels.