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More necessities on wish lists as Oneida Nation employees adopt a family for the holidays

By WKTV News

VERONA, N.Y. - Oneida Nation employees have shown their generosity this holiday season by helping 35 Central New York families in need, through the Catholic Charities of Oneida and Madison Counties Adopt-a-Family program. Departments had the option of choosing a small family, large family, or multiple families to help fulfill their Christmas wish list.

The Oneida Nation Information Technology department presented gifts to the mother of its adopted family and representatives of Catholic Charities today. Other departments will present their gifts to Catholic Charities over the next several days. Oneida Nation employees began participating in the Catholic Charities Adopt-a-Family program in 2005.

I.T. Senior Business Analyst Mary K. Clasen said, “While this is strictly a voluntary program, many in I.T. do participate and feel this is a good way for us to ‘pay it forward’. Helping a less fortunate family makes you appreciate what you have and can give your own family. You can’t help but feel good when you know you are giving a child a Christmas who, without your help, may not have a Christmas at all.”

The mother of the family adopted by the Oneida Nation I.T. department this year, “Shannon”, expressed her gratitude upon receiving gifts for her young daughter and son. “It means a lot of stress relief, and I feel comforted to know that my kids will have a good Christmas. This means a lot to me, to make them happy. They are going to be very excited on Christmas morning.”

Catholic Charities identifies and screens families in need for the Adopt-a-Family program. It then provides adopting agencies and individuals with a brief history of the family, a list of family members’ first names and ages, and the family’s Christmas wish list. The volunteers then purchase or donate items of their choice.

Catholic Charities of Oneida and Madison Counties Community Assistance Programs Supervisor Connie Marcus said, “I am very grateful for what the employees of the Oneida Indian Nation do for the Catholic Charities Adopt-a-Family program. It’s another example of their community support and generosity this time of year. We thank each and every one of them for making this program possible.”

The Catholic Charities mission is to reach out to and provide assistance to those in need; the poor, sick, aged, isolated, disabled and alienated; and to promote unity among persons seeking to develop caring communities. Catholic Charities of Oneida and Madison Counties has shared a vision of life and hope through service to the community since 1926.

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