Albany, NY- Members of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) and their families kept a holiday tradition alive for 18 years today by wrapping toys and preparing gift and food baskets for needy families and children. The union members and other volunteers met at PEF Headquarters in Latham.
The toys and food baskets will be donated to the Toys for Tots program, St. Margaret's Children Center in Albany, and to parolees who are deserving and particularly needy.
"This program has become a PEF tradition that grows every year, despite the current economic climate. Our members have always been generous with their time and money when it comes to those less fortunate," said PEF President Ken Brynien.
PEF Region 8 members in the Albany area donated the toys in lieu of an admission fee at the union's annual holiday party, according to Regional Coordinator Bill Wurster.
"We found out what the special needs children at St. Margaret's wished for, and we tried to fulfill those wishes this year," Wurster said. "Our members' generosity will bring some happiness and smiles to these children. This program exemplifies the joy of giving and hopefully will make a positive difference in their lives."
Parole officers will deliver gift baskets during home visits to the families of selected area parolees who are making an effort to turn their lives around but struggling financially.