United Way MV and Partner Agencies Give Out Family Activity Kits

A Dozen Activities for 200 Local Families to Enjoy

August 17, 2020 - Utica, NY -

United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV), sponsors and volunteers helped to pack hundreds of bags with family-friendly activities for local families. These jam-packed “Family Activity Kits” were given to families through three United Way partner agencies providing services to local families.

Designed for families with children ages 4-10, these kits were packed with a dozen fun activities. With the help of Berkshire Bank, other sponsors and in-kind donations from local businesses, United Way and their volunteers put together 200 kits for families to enjoy. Some of the items and crafts included a Mohawk Valley themed coloring book designed by local artist Retro Sorrento and printed by PJ Green, crayons, sidewalk chalk, foam ship craft, dancer kite, friendship bracelet set, herb plant set, Animal Chat Feeling Card Deck, puzzle, photo frame craft, Lego pieces, bird feeder craft, and more, all packed in a reusable tote with a fun design created by United Way’s committee member Devon Hoffman.

“Helping our partner agencies who are providing direct services to residents in the Mohawk Valley is part of the value United Way provides in the non-profit network,” stated Erin Gutierrez Matt, United Way MV CEO. “This project helped three local partner agencies offer families a package of activities. The kits also included information on resources such as our 211 hotline and COVID safety tips, voter registration form, and census participation.”

United Way’s Family Activity Kits were given to families through agency partners, Johnson Park Center in Utica, Salvation Army in Rome, and YMCA in Herkimer. Each agency was able to distribute the kits to bring some added engagement and joy to local families.

One agency delivered their Family Activity Kits door to door, as their usual summer program has been cancelled due current pandemic.

“The Salvation Army of Rome provides programs and support to children in our community, but the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impaired our ability to do that,” said Captain Amanda Krueger of the Salvation Army of Rome. “These kits are not only functional in their purpose, but also provide us an opportunity to ‘check in’ with the children that come to our programs, remind them that they are loved and remembered – and who doesn’t love to spread some joy and cheer especially in these days filled with so much uncertainty. We are so blessed by the generosity of United Way for giving us an opportunity to show love and encouragement to so many children in our community.”

United Way’s Family Activity Kits were made possible thanks to sponsors including Berkshire Bank, Carbone Chevrolet, Utica Teachers Association, PJ Green, Utica First Insurance Company, CNY Labor Council, Paradigm Consulting, DiGiorgio Law Firm, Assured Information Security (AIS), and Retro Sorrento.

“Berkshire Bank realizes all the challenges families are experiencing and is proud to sponsor the United Way of the Mohawk Valley’s Family Activity Kits,” said Matt Nicholl, Vice President Berkshire Bank. “Berkshire Bank is committed to our communities and customers and hope that they come together an enjoy these great kits.”

Organizations interested in sponsorship with United Way of the Mohawk Valley such as the Family Activity Kits, or other activities and events can contact Kristyn Bucciero Beckwith, Director of Marketing and Communications at KristynB@unitedwaymv.org.