Children’s faces were brightened at Einstein with a holiday party that was made possible through the generosity of local community organizations.
Patients in the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the children of patients in the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry Wellness Center on Waters Place were invited to a party on the Einstein campus on Thursday, December 15. The children received their toys around the Christmas holiday during their doctor’s visits, said Einstein assistant director of facilities planning Cecilia Haas.
Toys collected by the North East Bronx Association and other groups were to the children who have disabilities and illness, or whose parents are recovering from substance abuse and may not be able to provide as much during the Holiday season, Haas said.
“We do this because we see the joy that this brings to the kids, and we want to bring them more joy and repeat this every year,” Haas said. “We feel really lucky because we have jobs and we want to share the wealth.”
The kids who celebrate dthe holiday season in Einstein’s Van Etten Building come from backgrounds that often make it difficult to experience joy, with 70 to 80 percent on Medicaid, Haas said.
“These kids have had rough lives and many are not well,” Haas said. “Many come from foster care, some have been abused, and sometimes their siblings have been abused or killed.”
In addition, many of the children are handicapped, or have trouble in school due to learning disabilities, she said. A Christmas tree for the party and refreshments have been made possible in part through a donation faithfully sent for several years by Joseph McManus, State Committeeman for the 80th Assembly District and a board member of the Liberty Democratic Association. The donation was on behalf of the LDA.
“Not all children in the hospital are poor, but these kids happen to be poor and need extra help,” McManus said. “So when Cecilia sent out an e-mail asking for assistance, we decided to make a donation.”
The donation to the Einstein’s children’s holiday party is just one of many things that the Liberty Democratic Association is doing to help the needy this Holiday season, including a donation of 50 turkeys to the St. Lucy’s food pantry at Thanksgiving and additional food donations to the Bronx Jewish Community Council, McManus said.
The North East Bronx Association also collected toys, as well as warm clothing, which were distributed on Tuesday, December 20, said association president Vinny Prezioso.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393