How One Gift Can Make a Difference

As the weather turns colder and the holidays approach, the majority of Americans make plans to visit family and friends, carrying on annual traditions and creating new memories. This time of year is filled with warmth and good cheer for many, but for those spending the holidays alone - not by choice - it can be difficult.

To provide those in our care with the love they deserve, Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) established Burt and Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart, a gift drive for adults, veterans, and those with developmental disabilities over the age of 55. Named for two special members of the VOA-GNY family, this drive ensures that no one is forgotten during the holidays.

“The Burt and Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart program is very important to us and our clients every year,” says Michele Savino, Director of Residential Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities on Staten Island. “Many of our clients are older and don’t have much family involvement, and this program helps us make their holidays special.”

The residential services that Michele supervises are long-term, and it’s not unusual for individuals to be in the organization’s care for more than 30 years. In cases like these, staff can come to think of their clients as family. Without Burt & Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart, they often scramble to provide gifts for their residents during the holidays, not wanting anyone to feel left out. “We want them to have a joyous holiday and the program really helps us accomplish that,” Michele adds.

Donating to Burt and Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart is the perfect way to ease the hearts and minds of both our committed staff as well as the residents in their care. The donation of a single gift for one of our older adults makes a world of difference during a season that may otherwise feel very lonely.

Put a unique spin on your holiday giving this year and donate directly to Burt and Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart to contribute toward a much-needed and appreciated gift. Or, you can buy an item directly from our Amazon Wishlist for an easy shopping experience.