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ACR Health looking for “angels” to help clients in need

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Some ACR Health clients’ holiday season could be more cheerful with the support of community members who are willing to become “angels.”

For some people, that may take just one text message to do.

ACR Health development associate Jacki C. Coe said people can text “ACR” to 501501 and a $10 donation to the agency for the program will appear on their next cellphone bill.

“We’ve seen some success with it in other areas, but it’s the first time for Holiday Angels,” she said. “I hope it assists with food cards. The idea is $10 will pay for a person to have a holiday meal.”

Food cards to a grocery store closest to participating clients and their families are given as part of the program, which also provides essentials or holiday gifts clients may not otherwise be able to afford.

Those items may include winter and warm clothing, bathroom accessories, small appliances, kitchenware, shoes and boots and other essentials.

Clients include those who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Cayuga, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties. The high cost of AIDS medication and treatment, along with other financial strains, contributes to their participation in the annual program.

Mrs. Coe said she invites community members and representatives from civic organizations and church and community groups to become “angels.” People also can send in general monetary donations if they cannot shop, or sponsor a client and/or his or her family. Checks should be made out to “ACR Health” with “Holiday Angels” in the memo line, and mailed to ACR Health, 120 Washington St., Watertown, N.Y. 13601.

People can call the agency at 475-2430 to sign up to become an angel. Wrapped and labeled gifts are encouraged to be returned to local ACR Health offices in Watertown and at 101 Main St., Canton, by Dec. 5. Care managers then deliver them to clients before Christmas.

Last year, 395 clients and family members used the program. So far this season, 364 clients and family members are enrolled.

Mrs. Coe said all client personal information, including names, will be kept confidential.

The only information that will be shared will be sizes of clothing and shoes and preferred color choices.

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