This past year has looked different for more reasons than one due to the coronavirus. At the Lee Barta Community Center, our Healthy Lifestyles Coalition team did not give up on the community we serve. Our team persevered safely through all odds to ensure the residents of Binghamton’s North and East sides continued to have youth programming and access to food.
As the winter season came underway, we decided to think of creative ways to ensure our residents would have a safe and memorable holiday, despite the odd times we are living in. Keeping in mind the “reason for the season,” we launched A December to Remember.
As December approached, we sought out donations to help make our vision for local residents come true. As the word spread, the community came together to help donate 10 Christmas trees and holiday decorations, 35-holiday dinner boxes, 20 towel sets, an abundance of toys, and 30 family engagement activities such as baking packages, games, and puzzles. 35 pairs of shoes, 1,000 pairs of socks, and 35 coats were also given to youth in the area. Items and funding came from an array of individuals and organizations, including Donna Lupardo, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Vestal Girl Scout Troop # 30345, Hinman Community Residential Hall, United Way of Broome County’s Emerging Leaders Society, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as private donors.
Thanks to the community’s kindness and the hard work and dedication from our Healthy Lifestyles Coalition Team at the Lee Barta Community Center, 40 households, which included 37 adults, 62 children, and 23 seniors, were able to have a happy and plentiful holiday season. As we enter the near year, we reflect in appreciation and look forward to serving local residents in new, creative ways.