Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column
Last week I heard some disturbing news from the North Pole. Some of the programs across Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence County that provide Christmas presents to needy children were seeing a dramatic increase in requests.
Unfortunately, the number of toys and gifts that were being donated were not enough to keep up with the increase in the requests for help.
Some agencies were already preparing to tell families that their children were out of luck this year.
When I realized that some children would be waking up Christmas morning thinking Santa forgot them, I knew I had to do something to help.
While we all have realized that the economy has meant tough times for many families, the holidays really drive home the point of what it can mean for their children.
That’s why I’m asking for a Christmas miracle this year. I’m hoping that the spirit of the holiday season will reach out to everyone and remind them that at this time of the year, we need to look out for our neighbors who may not have enjoyed the blessings that the rest of us experienced this year.
I’ve opened my district offices in Oswego, Watertown and Ogdensburg to serve as drop-off points for gifts, every weekday, until Friday, December 23.
Oswego: 46 E. Bridge St., 1st Floor (donations will be forwarded to the Salvation Army)
Watertown: State Office Building, 317 Washington St., 4th floor (Community Action Planning Council)
Ogdensburg: 330 Ford St., basement of City Hall (St. Lawrence County Toys for Tots)
Gifts should be new and unwrapped. Suggestions for gift donations include toys, dolls, models, games, winter clothes, hats, scarves, mittens, video games and gift cards.
What’s always been special about living in our neck of the woods is the way folks look out for each other when they hear someone is in trouble. You’ve seen it. When a family faces hard times, neighbors look out for each other and offer a helping hand.
I believe in the spirit of Christmas. If we work together, we can make a Christmas miracle for children and families who have nowhere else to turn.
I also want to extend to you and your family warmest wishes for Christmas and a very Happy New Year.