Since we began helping Circles of Mercy, the service organization has been very good about letting us know about the number of people in the community it has helped.
We have just given the organization an $800 grant toward its annual “Adopt a Family” project to brighten the holidays for people who otherwise would have very little. In the recent past, numerous club members have delivered carloads of kitchen equipment, household items, toiletries and clothing to the organization’s Catherine’s Closet Thrift Shop in Rensselaer. We also purchased the makings for 14 Easter baskets, which were put together and delivered to Circles by members of Len Leonidas’ Cub Scout group. Some of our members also have made financial contributions.
In his latest comunication, Richard Zazyicki, director of Circles of Mercy, provided this update:
• Catherine’s Closet provided 1,006 clothing grants (484 for adults, 522 for children) plus 170 diaper grants and 73 grants for baby layettes and infant clothing.
• More than 150 children from needy families received backpacks and school supplies at the beginning of this school year. Additional supplies were shared with the Rensselaer City School District, Head Start and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Rensselaer County.
• Nearly 50 low-income families — consisting of 116 children and 51 adults — were adopted at Christmas time and received gifts they may not otherwise have been able to afford.
• Circles of Mercy’s continuing partnership with the IRS, CA$H, AARP and the United Way to provide free income tax preparation service keeps growing. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide volunteers prepared more than 510 returns. This resulted in a total tax refund (including credits) of $811,000 for our low-income families and senior citizens.
We, the SRC Board, thank all members of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club who have contributed goods and dollars to Circles of Mercy. We, as a club, plan to continue assisting this vital service that reaches into all parts of our service area.