If charitable giving is on your list during the holiday season, here are some agencies focused on helping children. The medical needs of children at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse vary greatly and some families have extended stays of 100 days or more. Coordinator of Pediatric Programs, Jenny Dickinson says giving directly to the hospital is an option to assist families.
“We use donor dollars in an unmet needs fund for those individuals, also (for) medical advancements, in order to provide the most up-to-date care for sick and injured kids in the Central New York region. And (funds are used) to support programming like our child life program, art therapy and music therapy.”
Dickinson says the state only provides 6% of the hospital’s funding. Some retailers have yellow balloons that allow people to give at those locations; people can also donate or help in other ways through at Golisano Hospital directly through their website.
The McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center assists kids who have been sexually or physically abused. Executive Director Linda Cleary says they assist about 700 kids every year and non-offending family members.
“When families come in, if they need food for the night, clothing, any of the basic necessities, we will provide those for them. It can be as simple as law enforcement needs to strip a bed to take sheets for evidence. We need to replace a set of sheets or comforter for a child when maybe a family doesn’t have additional sheets or a comforter.”
McMahon Ryan has a medical clinic on site, as well as therapy services, and they share space with some investigators who look into cases of abuse. The center accepts monetary and other in kind donations, with information on the McMahon Ryan website.
Hillside Family of Agencies in Syracuse offers many services to make life better at home for kids. Spokesperson Laurie Walker explains they could be dealing with neglect or trauma.
“So our services are typically with our counselors, who may go into family situations to help the children, but also work with the parents on parenting skills, or working with them on whatever problems they are facing, which affect their family.”
The agency helps children directly with educational achievement, as well as job and life skills. Many are encourage dot get part-time jobs, that can be arranged through employer partners. The agency serves about 21-hundred families and children annually throughout five Upstate counties. Local donations at the Hillside website stay here in Onondaga County.