If you're looking to give back this holiday season, you may want to consider adopting a family, through Kids Oneida. Kids Oneida provides a broad range of mental health services to high risk youth and their families in Oneida and Herkimer counties. "Mental illness affects everybody," says Brandi Candido of Kids Oneida, "It takes so much time and effort and money and love and compassion and continued commitment to a child to get them through these hard times and it can really destroy a family." She says they use a holistic approach, providing support to the children at risk, and their entire family.
Angela Nugent is someone who benefited from their services. She raised four grandchildren who, about 8 years ago, were dealing with serious issues. "It wasn't like they were living in an abusive home we had them since they were babies," says Nugent, " they were very aggressive children, they would explode at anything and we kind of felt like we were going through this."
Nugent said Kids Oneida made a drastic difference by being there for her whole family in every aspect of their lives. "We know you can't just help a child by themselves a family has to be involved and a community has to be involved."
In order to continue providing that type of support, Candido says they realized about 8 years ago that something special needed to be done during the holidays. Candidio says they developed the Adopt-a-Family program to provide gifts during the holidays for families they service. Kids Oneida will help over 100 families this holiday season and Candido says they'll be collecting thousands of presents. If you're interested in participating this holiday season, you can reach Candido at (315) 792-9039 ext. 2604. And if you'd like more information on Kids Oneida in general, you can visit their website: www.kidsoneida.org.