Sometimes every not-for-profit needs a lift.
Rayn Boncie, founder and CEO of Schenectady-based Things of My Very Own, was in the service area of Mohawk Honda when she received a call from Baker Public Relations regarding teaming up with the car dealer for a goods donation drive.
“It’s every not-for-profit CEO’s dream to have an in with a funder and my truck happened to be there getting work done,” Boncie said during a phone interview.
“They reached out to us, we have worked with Mohawk before on our Wish Tag program, a seasonal program.
“It’s a great opportunity to not only engage the public, but also to engage non-profits and businesses again and right now we need that.”
The incoming Capital Region Aquatic Center, along with Mohawk Honda, Mohawk Chevrolet and Mohawk Collision Center are hosting a hygiene necessities drive for Things of My Very Own through July 31 with drop-off stations inside the showrooms of the dealerships.
Things of My Very Own is a 12-year-old fast response charity serving 11 counties and children who have experienced abuse, neglect or are in an at-risk situation.
Its mission is to intervene once it gets a referral and assist that child and family until they reach a safer, more suitable situation.
“We are not government funded, we are supported solely on private donations and grants. There isn’t this one big check or two big checks that come in per year,” Boncie said. “This is all we have to serve four- to five-thousand children in crisis each year.”
Things of My Very Own receives referrals from numerous agencies and often provides needed clothes and personal hygiene products to a client in less than four hours.
The nonprofit was tested in the early months of COVID-19.
“For you and me to go to the store and get toilet paper a couple months ago, that was (tough) Boncie said. “For someone who is in hiding, who doesn’t have transportation, they couldn’t even get bar soap.
“Basic things that you and I took for granted as we’re frustrated over Lysol, they couldn’t get soap.”
Their own inventory supplies were stressed during the lockdown period.
“We’re lucky that in the beginning of the year we still had a stockpile of donations from the holidays, everybody wants to give during the holidays, it’s the happy, giving time,” Boncie said. “We were going through it and it seems as though we were having an emergency team meeting every morning saying what are we going to do now? We were drowning.”
But they received help from the Target Distribution Center in Amsterdam.
“They were giving us a call and we had staff members racing there with trucks just to pick them up,” Boncie said. “They were going out the door the moment they were coming in.”
The partnership with the Mohawk automobile group is expected to assist in both goods as well as highlighting the organization in the showroom and on television spots.
“If you go to an area where there are predominantly people living in poverty and you ask who has heard of us, everyone will raise their hand,” Boncie said. “If we go to another area, predominantly of business professionals an hour away from here, no one has heard of us and that’s our coverage area. “We’ll get people who want to do a donation drive; it helps that they are also promoting our needs because that gets our name out there not only to potential donors, but especially to those who are left behind.”
To learn more about Things of My Very Own visit their website at www.tomvo.org.
Reach Stan Hudy at [email protected] or follow on Twitter @StanHudy.