After learning about the support system and programs provided by the group every day to support children diagnosed with cancer and their families, the members of the Kiwanis Queens West Division took a trip to Manhattan last week to deliver holiday offerings.
With a comprehensive effort from dozens of businesses throughout the borough and all 16 Kiwanis clubs in the division, several Kiwanis members delivered toys, food and cheer for the holiday.
After Steve Sirgiovanni, lieutenant governor of Queens West, witnessed first hand the work done at the Ronald McDonald House at 405 E. 73rd St., he said it was all he could do to get his clubs involved.
“When you see children who are infants and up to 17 and 18 years old, unfortunately some of them won’t be making it to another Christmas, we just had to help,” Sirgiovanni said. “The facility is unfortunately filled with them, so this was a nice Christmas project for us to get involved in.”
In addition to bringing toys, the club also went to local Howard Beach merchants like Lenny’s Clam Bar, Bagel Café, Ciro’s Pizza in the Rockaways and others to feed nearly 100 families.
“We had an overabundance of toys, so they kept them and gave them out on Christmas day,” he said.
Joe Aiello, governor of the NY District Kiwanis International, joined the Queens West Division in their efforts, and said he planned on getting the Kiwanis Club of Staten Island involved.
“I can’t imagine how this happens to children,” Aiello said. “They’re just beginning life and they’re already starting with suffering and illness. Ronald McDonald House is different. It’s not a hospital. It’s a place to go for treatment.”
J.P. DiTroia, Queens West member and the membership chair for the New York District Kiwanis International, encouraged anyone who wants to get involved to simply contact the club for more information.
“It’s wonderful, and this is what Kiwanis is,” DiTroia said. “We need more people to do the good things that our division is doing.”