Christmas came 10 days early to Circles of Mercy in Rensselaer today when the annual collection of “Adopt-a-Family” gifts from the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club arrived at the family services agency.
SRC project coordinator April Dowd and her chauffeur had to enlist the help of Circles Executive Director Richard Zazycki and several of his volunteers in unloading a car crammed to capacity with gifts for a needy “blended” family with children ranging in age from 18 years to 18 months. We had promised Richard “shock and awe” at the treasure trove of presents, and he concurred that the result was startling.
About half of the club members participated in the effort.
Said April, “Our family this year had eight children and two adults, and bringing Christmas to their home could have been a daunting task. But, due to your generosity ‘Adopt a Family 2017’ was quite a success. Bill and I delivered the presents, gift cards, grocery items, and specialty baskets today to Circles of Mercy. Thanks to all of you who participated in this joyous and satisfying venture.”
The mission of Circles of Mercy, with whom SRC partners in several other efforts such as an annual school supplies drive and an annual Easter basket program, is very much in line with Rotary’s guiding principles.
The organization, which has its roots in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827, works to “improve the quality of life in the community by working to end the cycle of poverty, especially among women and women with children. Animated by the Gospel and [founder] Catherine McAuley’s passion for the poor and underprivileged, we honor the dignity of each person. We offer hospitality and provide services, compassion, hospitality, stewardship, leadership and collaboration, with a special concern for the poor and disadvantaged without regard to a person’s religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation; which is performed in an effort to instill hope and empower individuals to reach their full potential.”