Aspire of WNY Looks to Spread Holiday Cheer this Christmas

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LAKEWOOD, NY (WNY News Now) – Those looking to give back this holiday season have many great options to spread holiday cheer. Aspire of WNY is one of the many groups vying for your support on Giving Tuesday.

Aspire of WNY gives those with developmental disabilities tools to realize their full potential, and, live independently.

“At Aspire of WNY for over 25 years we’ve had a holiday program. It’s called the Spirit of Giving, it was formerly called the Committee of Last Resort. It was housed within our agency supporting those who received our services,” explains Director of Agency Outreach and Central Intake Jenna Astridge.

The program aims to fulfill holiday wish lists across the region.

“In the last two years we have also expanded that program to include individuals under the Office for People with Disabilities who do not necessarily receive Aspire services. So we’ve expanded the program that way and our goal is to support those who need the most help during the holiday season to provide a holiday that they might not be able to provide without our assistance,” says Astridge.

Donors and sponsors can contribute financially, or sponsor a person or family, taking the shopping, wrapping, and delivery into their own hands.

“We provide anything from gift cards so they can do their own shopping. We do clothes on top of, we ask them what kind of clothes they want, so we cloth them, put boots and hats and coats on them. We also have done tech like laptops and tablets and TV’s, we’ve done some of that some, some of those bigger ticket items. We’ve also given gifts to experiences like Disney on Ice,” says Astridge.

The past few years, 50 to 60 recipients have qualified for this holiday help. This year, over 80 people have applied.

“Giving Tuesday is a great way to give back to those in our community that need some support. We have lots of really supportive donors, internally and externally, but we always need a little extra help,” admits Astridge. “There was a great need this year, more need than we’ve ever had before, which I think speaks to our community, the needs that exist within our larger community, and this is just one way to help some of those people in the community that are needing our support.”

For information on how to help, visit


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