As most know, poverty results in a variety of deleterious effects on children’s development, family stability, and community growth. Financial disadvantage in childhood has far-reaching …
As most know, poverty results in a variety of deleterious effects on children’s development, family stability, and community growth. Financial disadvantage in childhood has far-reaching consequences in society, which can follow individuals throughout their lives. Therefore, it is imperative to help those in need, at a young age, get the head-start required to escape the cycle of poverty, and to excel in their education, without having to worry about basic necessities such as school supplies and nutritious meals.
The Patchogue-Medford Youth & Community Services (PMYCS) has been extremely busy. According to Karen Drago, executive director of PMYCS, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, they served 22 families, which is a lot for them, while also having additional families signing up every week.
“On a weekly basis, I have been driving out to Melville to pick up items from Island Harvest, and we continue to receive our biweekly delivery from Long Island Cares,” said Drago in an email reaching out to fellow members of the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, requesting supplemental assistance from chamber members as well as from anyone in the community in a position to help. “In addition to our food banks, I have been making a personal contribution of food to our pantry along with some family. We have also had one of our board members make several contributions of food to our pantry over the last few months.”
Currently, with the start of the new school year fast approaching, PMYCS needs backpacks. The agency has more than 80 children signed up, and Drago was informed by their contact at the Town of Brookhaven, that it is uncertain what they will be getting due to supply chain issues.
“She has been the support yearly, and last year provided us with over 70 backpacks. We have enough supplies, and 36 backpacks so far, but are in need of more,” informed Drago.
Donated backpacks, or food items, can be brought to the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce office at 15 North Ocean Avenue or the PMYCS office at 390 Bay Avenue in Patchogue.
An astounding 45 percent of children in the Patchogue-Medford School District are at an economic disadvantage, making the Patchogue-Medford Youth & Community Services instrumental to the well-being of the area’s youth and a lifeline to their families’ ability to thrive in these difficult times, when more people than ever could use a helping hand to get back on solid footing. In addition to high enrollment, the district ranks fifth in the county regarding the number of suspended students and dropouts, according to the PMYCS website. While these statistics sound grim, there is hope, and those who are fortunate enough to have a little extra to give can make a big difference in turning this downward trend around.
The PMYCS website states that studies show early intervention, like the kind their organization provides, has been proven to help prevent delinquent behavior while supporting the development of a child’s resilience and success.
Last year, the agency was able to aid more than 14,000 people in the community, thanks to the generous donations of members of the community and other nonprofit and governmental organizations. However, PMYCS relies primarily on private contributions from the community through direct donations or via the assistance of fundraising events. The organization provides invaluable services at both their community center, located at 390 Bay Avenue in Patchogue, and within the Patchogue-Medford School District.
If you have any questions about the services PMYCS offers, how you can help, or to inquire about receiving assistance, contact Karen Drago at 631-758-4100 or go to pmycs.org.
PMYCS is a not-for-profit organization which has been serving the diverse needs of local communities since 1982. The mission of the agency is to improve the quality of life for the families of the local communities via outreach, education, recreation, counseling, and support services. They feel strongly that providing enriching and valuable programs, including educational and recreational activities, will help adults and children in the community to become well-adjusted individuals living up to their fullest potential. The skills obtained at their center will help those who come to them to make healthy and empowering choices throughout their lives. All services are offered in both English and Spanish.
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