Local Restaurants Help Bring Christmas to Kingston Youth Shelter

Donations from Gino’s Pizza restaurants in Kingston help the Kingston Youth Center (KYC) provide a more festive holiday season for those who use their services.

This is the first year that Gino’s Pizza has collected donations for KYC, and the shelter’s general manager, Anne Brown, calls it a huge success.

“Staff were overwhelmed by the volume of donations delivered to the 805 Ridley Drive shelter,” Brown said.

“These donations will have such an impact on the young people who will have access to our services during the holiday season. Many do not have positive thoughts about the holidays and this will go a long way in creating new memories for them.

Gino’s Pizza stores in and around Kingston as well as Pisano’s and Sydenham Slice House have all found a few ways to donate funds and supplies to the youth shelter.

Restaurants have been collecting clothes and gifts until December 12, donating every other dollar from in-store arcade games, and Gino’s also designed a pizza with youth shelter manager Catherine Oxford, donating $ 3 from each of those pizzas sold and $ 1 from each individual. slice.

The pizza is called Rizzilience Pizza, with toppings, according to Oxford, representative of the resilience demonstrated by shelter staff and customers.

“The young people and the staff have been phenomenal during all of the challenges of the pandemic. Oxford said.

KYC operates an emergency shelter at 805 Ridley Drive as well as two youth halfway houses, providing emergency shelter to those in need aged 16 to 24, as well as transition beds, functional autonomy and family mediation.

Executive Director Anne Brown says the staff try to make this time of year as festive as possible for the youth at the shelter, and that the donations help make goody bags and serve a traditional Christmas dinner.

The shelter is run by United Way, and Brown says it’s running near full capacity every night.

The final donation tally was not counted as Gino’s Pizza stores continue to collect Rizzilience Pizza proceeds until the end of the month.

Donations can also be made to KYC at the Ridley Drive site, with monetary donations and winter clothing being the most requested at this time.

Gladys T. Hensley