It takes a Community to raise a child.

This is never more apparent than in a time of crisis.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Youth Mentoring Services, in conjunction with the Cornerstone Arena, developed Step Up – child care for children of essential workers.

The theme for the month of November was giving back – the children made more than 300 Christmas cards for veterans, homemade toys for the SPCA, and ornaments and masks for the Lockport Presbyterian Home.

At the same time, the community has stepped up to provide resources for YMS kids and their families, which include low income households, single parent homes, a household where a parent is incarcerated or deceased, or grandparent head of household. One example is the MINI Club of WNY who held a food drive which resulted in $1000 worth of nonperishable food.

YMS was able to add an additional food give away for Thanksgiving to the families who are most food insecure. One mom called after she took the food home to say her kids thought it was Christmas and wanted to say “Thank you.”

So, while this Thanksgiving may look different, the heartfelt feelings of gratitude will be celebrated in homes across the area during this holiday season. It is with giving that we receive the most.

Sue Capell is the executive director/CEO of Youth Mentoring Services in Lockport.

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