BY BETH DEDMAN
OMG Accessories is partnering with Homes for the Homeless to give more than 30 girls from their Saratoga Recreation program gift packs for Valentine’s Day.
OMG Accessories, which is known for their Unicorn backpacks, will send staff members with JUMBO backpacks to the Saratoga K-12 Afterschool & Recreation program, where the girls in the program will be able to choose gift packs from the JUMBO backpacks, which will include pillows, backpacks and duffle bags. The gift packs will be given to the girls at 6 p.m. on Feb. 13.
“We strive to bring joy to kids around the world with our imaginative accessories,” said Anne Harper, founder of OMG Accessories. “Being able to make Valentine’s day special for these girls is a great way to give back for all the encouragement we’ve had in building this company.”
Saratoga K-12 Afterschool & Recreation provides after-school clubs, sports teams, and other daily programs to children experiencing homelessness in Jamaica, Queens.
“We’re grateful to OMG Accessories for helping our kids feel special, celebrated, and loved this Valentine’s Day,” said Michael Chapman, Director of K-12 Afterschool & Recreation at HFH’s Saratoga Family Residence. “Not only have they donated these great gifts to our kids, but they’ve also enhanced our programming by dedicating their time, energy, and creativity to making the day extra memorable and exciting for our young participants.”
About 40% of the nearly 65,000 New Yorkers who are staying in homeless shelters are under the age of 18, according to an Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness report.
There are nearly 12,000 homeless families, including 24,000 children living in the shelter system, according to Homes for the Homeless. Up to 100 new families apply for shelter through the city’s intake system every day.
Families make up more than two-thirds of the homeless shelter population, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.
On average, families with children stay in a shelter for 449 days, according to the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness report.
The primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. Major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness for families include eviction, overcrowded housing, domestic violence, job loss, and dangerous living conditions.
Homes for the Homeless’ approach aims to break the cycle of poverty and preserve the quality of life children need to grow, according to their website. Homes for Homelessness partners with many organizations to provide education that builds positive self-identity and increases achievement in the classroom
Homes for Homelessness’ recreation programs provide a safe place for children to explore and create. This helps reduce trauma and ensures that children enjoy playtime as part of a normal childhood experience.
OMG Accessories was founded in 2009 and has products featured in stores including Nordstrom, Saks, Macy’s, Dillards and Von Maur, according to their website.