Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus commends the County workforce for their commitment and generosity to the community this holiday season.
“Many of our county government departments took it upon themselves to ensure members of the community will enjoy a happy holiday season,” said Executive Steinhaus. “The county staff who are dedicated to their work in our service agencies on a daily basis, do not stop there, they always go that extra mile in their commitment to make our community even better,” he commended.
This year the Dutchess County Department of Social Services workforce and teen volunteers at the Dutchess County Youth Council were able to spread holiday cheer countywide.
The Department of Social Services adopted 145 children from the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Child program. The Medicaid unit also adopted two families for clothes and presents. The Children Services unit adopted four families and had a hat and mitten tree for foster children, and the Special Investigations unit adopted three families including a special child. In addition, the Child Support Collection Unit conducted their annual hat and mitten tree with donations to Grace Smith House, had a 50-50 raffle for the "Make a Wish Foundation" and donated $200 to the local food bank. The Housing Unit collected donations for Dutchess County Coalition for the Homeless shelter and the Wind Chill Fund and the Temporary Assistance unit also adopted a family, formerly victims of domestic violence.
Robert Allers, Commissioner of Social Services noted, “It always makes us proud to know that an agency that has holiday stress on both sides of the desk can remember what this time of year means and bring happiness to those in our community who need our assistance.”
The Dutchess County Youth Council completed their 17th year with their annual holiday drive, “Project Personal Care.” The project involved the collection and distribution of personal hygiene products such as shampoo & conditioner, toothbrushes & toothpaste, deodorant, powder, and soap. The products are donated each year to the teens at Hudson River Housing River Haven’s Shelter and Independent Living programs.
“Project Personal Care has brought an invaluable contribution to our River Haven programs for the past seventeen years. Due to the efforts of the Youth Council under the guidance of their dedicated leader, June Ellen Notaro, the young people we serve are able to have the hygiene items they so desperately need and would otherwise be unable to afford. As a result of the Youth Council’s yearly effort, we are able to free up funds to purchase some of the other basic needs our Program participants require,” said Ilene Cutler, Project Director Hudson River Housing. “Having some soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste may not seem like much to most, but for a young person who is unsure about where “home” is, these basic items can make the difference in creating hope for a new beginning,” she said.
The County Executive added, “In speaking to the generosity of county employees it is important to also note that ‘Team Dutchess’ (employees of county government) contributed over $100,600 to the Dutchess County United Way this year and collected over 1,000 toys for the Toys-for-Tots program this season. It is incredible the commitment our workforce has to this community.”