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Sharing the joy

Sheriff’s Department provides presents to families in need

Employees of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office unload presents on Tuesday, Dec. 13, before surprising children at the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club with the gifts.

Employees of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office unload presents on Tuesday, Dec. 13, before surprising children at the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club with the gifts. Photo by John Purcell.

— John Vaccaro, unit director for the club, was also at the club when Dagostino attended it.

“We’ve benefited very greatly from its existence so anything that we can do to help it along and help these kids and provide some sort of positive effect on them is a good thing,” he said.

Dagostino also brought along his 7-year-old son, Michael, to help hand out presents to students.

“I brought my son over today to try to teach him the importance of giving,” he said. “I thought this was a good opportunity for him to experience that.”

“Christmas is about giving,” said young Michael Dagostino.

Vaccaro said there are many children at the club from lower to middle income families, so the presents from the Sheriff’s Office assure they’ll have something for Christmas. There are 1,200 children that come to the club and he added more families are in need this holiday season than ever.

“This year we had more people at our Thanksgiving Dinner then we’ve ever had before,” said Vaccaro. “We have had many phone calls from parents wondering whether or not we could help them with food, gifts for Christmas. This is one of the ways we counteract that.”

He added the event also allows kids see what it’s like to give back.

“Even though a lot of them haven’t done it themselves yet cause of their ages, they have a good idea now on what it is like to give back,” he said. “Hopefully someday it will encourage them to be volunteers and leaders in the community.”

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