Listed below is an article about the great work of our MHA in Dutchess
County in helping the community during the holiday season

Holiday Helping Hand, Mental Health of America team up to give holiday cheer
Abbott Brant, Poughkeepsie Journal Published 6:00 a.m. ET Nov. 30, 2017 | Updated 6:27
a.m. ET Nov. 30, 2017

For Diane Brothers, the holiday season isn’t always the most joyful time of
the year.

“With me being on a fixed income, things were struggling,” the 47-year-old
stay-at-home mom said.

But with the help of gift card from Mental Health America of Dutchess
County last year, Brothers said she was able to get her 10-year-old
daughter and 17-year-old son gifts: clothes, socks and underwear.

“I was very thankful, and blessed,” the City of Poughkeepsie resident said.
“Mental Health of America is a great support system for our community.”

For those like Brothers, the burden of purchasing Christmas gifts
or preparing a holiday feast can make the season less than enjoyable.

But local families living with the realities of mental illnesses get some
financial relief with these gift cards, through the Holiday Helping Hand
program.

“There’s so much pressure in society that everyone needs to have
everything,” said Andrew O’Grady, executive director of Mental Health
America Dutchess County. “Unfortunately, not everyone can.”

In its 35th year, Holiday Helping Hand is a is a joint project by the
Poughkeepsie Journal and United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region.

Last year, the program raised $33,650, which this year is funding more than
30 local charitable programs such as holiday dinners, gift giveaways for
kids, and assistance with paying everyday necessities like utility bills.

O’Grady said the $2,000 awarded to Mental Health America this season will
go toward purchasing 100 $20 gift cards to both local grocery stores and
Toys R’ Us. The cards will go to 75 families, O’Grady said, dependent on
each family’s needs.

“Most of the people we work with live below or at the poverty level,”
he said. “These families maybe don’t have the ability to have a good meal,
or provide small items for their children.”

Throughout the year, Mental Health of America provides a number of
programs, O’Grady said, ranging from a homeless day shelter to family
support and individual adult care management, “where we are one-on-one with
people in the community who struggle with mental health or addiction
issues.”

“One of the reasons we’ve supported this organization in the past is that
they work with a vulnerable population, handling challenges with mental
illness and the homeless,” said Melissa Clark, United Way’s regional
director of community impact.

How to Donate

Holiday Helping Hand is a joint project from the Poughkeepsie Journal and
the United Way of the Dutchess County-Orange Region that raises money for
local charities and organizations that, in turn, host events like holiday
dinners, children’s programs and gift card distributions to those in need.

To donate online, go to www.uwdor.org/donate-hhh2017 or mail a check to
Holiday Helping Hand, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, 75 Market
St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. Checks should be made payable to Holiday
Helping Hand. All donations will benefit Dutchess County residents.

www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2017/11/30/holiday-helping-hand-mental-health-america-team-up/900722001/

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