THE ANGEL PROJECT
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ Angel Project Collects 200 Gifts for Grandparents Caring For Children in Westchester County
(Yonkers, NY) – Today, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins fulfilled Christmas wish lists for nearly 200 grandparents as part of the “Angel Project”. The Senate Majority Leader’s office in Yonkers filled with gifts donated by a record number of volunteers who served as “Angels.”
The Senate Majority Leader started the Angel Project after the passing of her husband, as a way to channel her grief and give back to others. This year, as in previous years, the Senator worked with Family Service Society of Yonkers and Family Ties of Westchester to connect volunteers, aka “Angels” with grandparents, caring for a grandchild. Her staff then worked to fulfill wish lists from grandparents. About 200 volunteers served as “Angels,” which included residents from Greenburgh, Yonkers, Scarsdale, White Plains, and New Rochelle.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “I call it the Angel Project because I am asking people to do a little something for someone they do not even know, who they probably will never meet, but whose life will be changed by their generosity.”
The Senate Majority Leader explained many families do not want to lose a child to the foster care system and grandparents often become the primary parent. Additionally, grandparents caring for their grandchild often do not qualify for various types of assistance. The Senate Majority Leader said the Angel Project was her way of ensuring grandparents are not “overlooked” during the holidays.
The Senator herself, also served as an “Angel” this year and gave two Yonkers grandparents, daughter Sharon Johnson and mother Marcia Spencer their Christmas presents. Johnson, who works in a group home, caring for individuals with special needs, is taking care of her daughter’s young sons who are 8 and 11-years-old. While Spencer is caring for her son’s 16-year-old who is deaf.
Grandparent Sharon Johnson said, “I am grateful to be a part of this project. Last year was my first time participating in it, and it felt good to receive, as I am always giving. I did not expect something, but to know someone cared enough to give me something, especially being asked what you want and getting something you desire, I felt needed and appreciated.”
Grandparent Marcia Spencer said, “I am so happy and thankful for the angels. We thank Senator Stewart-Cousins for thinking of us and all the grandparents. We didn’t expect anything due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and she truly made us feel special.”
Normally, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins hosts a luncheon for grandparents to meet their “Angeles” and exchange gifts, but due to the pandemic, it had to be canceled this year. To ensure gift delivery was safe, the Senate Majority Leader asked “Angles” to send gifts to the Senate office where her staff wrapped the presents for eleven area nonprofits and religious organizations to pick up by appointment and deliver to families in need.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “This year, we had to expand our partners due to the overwhelming support of our angels. It’s heart-warming to see how many people wanted to give back even during the pandemic. The organizations working with us stepped up to ensure delivery of these presents in time for Christmas. We thank them for serving our most vulnerable during these challenging times, and always going above and beyond to help residents.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins represents Greenburgh, Scarsdale and parts of Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle in the 35th NYS Senate District. To learn more about her legislative and community efforts.