NISKAYUNA — Members of Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church in Niskayuna recently learned more about the congregation’s newest local mission focus group, Things of My Very Own, when the church received a visit from the nonprofit’s CEO and founder, Rayn Boncie, as well as its board president, Frank Graniero.
Eastern Parkway UMC members select local mission focus groups to receive special funding and volunteer support from members of the congregation. This year, they’ve added Things of My Very Own, a Schenectady-based nonprofit that has grown from one woman’s passion for helping children into an in-demand service that provides comfort during difficult times.
Boncie began to informally collect clothing for children abruptly removed from their homes and placed in foster care in 2008. After the Sunday morning service last weekend, she and Graniero told church members that the current program of comprehensive emergency assistance, or “transitional aid,” has grown from that original goal.
Things of My Very Own now helps children who are victims of abuse or neglect in times of crisis by providing items such as clothing, toiletries, clothes, books and school supplies.
The program receives thousands of yearly requests for assistance from Schenectady and several surrounding counties. Because of growing demand, the nonprofit needs to grow, too.
The organization currently operates from a 2,000-square-foot rented building in the Stockade neighborhood and is working to buy a larger building on Green Street. Graniero said the organization needs to raise about $50,000 more to cover the down payment and closing costs. Eastern Parkway UMC members hope they’ll be able to help reach that goal.
The Niskayuna church also supports Bethesda House and Schenectady Inner City Ministry.