Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours. – Les Brown
Today I would like to introduce you to a very special lady who has done, and is doing, some very special things to help abused and neglected children. Her name is Rayn Boncie and I think you will fall in love with this lady … I know I did!
I will let Rayn tell you where her story began …
“When I was 14 years-old I was placed in the foster care system. A few months later, another foster child arrived. She was also 14 and came in wearing clothing that would have fit a small nine-year-old. I remember seeing her change for bed and noticed reddish-purplish welts on her skin. Her clothing had literally injured her. I made a silent promise to her that day, that when I grew up, I would do something to help children like her and me.
I started Things of My Very Own, Inc. out of my home in 2008 in order to bridge the gap between what social service entities were able to provide and what children need. In 2010, we served 5,892 individuals. Now, we are in a 20,000 square foot building and I’m quite certain that this is going to be a record-breaking year.”
The mission of Things of My Very Own, located in Schenectady, New York, as stated on their website, is:
Things of My Very Own helps introduce children to the fundamental life skills needed to develop into stable, confident individuals with healthy levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Things of My Very Own, Inc. provides crisis intervention services to children impacted by extensive abuse and/or neglect. Services are also available to children who are, solely due to the lack of items necessary for sustainability, at risk of a Child Protective Services intervention. Our goal is to keep children together with non-abusive family members, and out of the foster care system, whenever possible.
So, what do they do, exactly? They act as a go-between among social service agencies, bridging the gap between crisis and long-term solution by providing assistance within four hours of receiving a referral, as well as providing up to seven days of emergency materials — clothing, toiletries, bedding, school supplies and access to a food pantry.
In November 2015, Things of My Very Own, Inc. launched its Holiday Adoption Program which allows at-risk children to adopt stuffed animals that they will then care for. Volunteers were seen wearing light blue or black scrubs and stethoscopes as they walked around carrying stuffed animals being fed with baby bottles.
“Rather than just giving toys to underprivileged children, we decided to give them an experience. Children come in, fill out an application and learn a bit about the personality of each stuffed animal. There is even a birth certificate.” said Client Relations Specialist Candra Kimball.
This year, Rayn and her team of 500+ volunteers decided to try something new. They created tags for the children in need in the community to write down what they would most like for Christmas … wishes they intend to fill as best they can.
“Every tag is connected to a child who wants to believe that someone in the world cares about their well-being. If we can show them for one moment that someone put their needs ahead of their own, maybe they will finally believe that what they have endured does not need to define who they grow up to be. For many of these children, we are the spark of hope that lights up their otherwise dark world. Many individuals and businesses have already stepped up, asking for tags; and for these children, we hope it is only the beginning.”
Rayn has a Facebook page where she tells a bit of her story, and the giving doesn’t stop with Rayn and Things of my Very Own, for her Facebook followers are taking the ball and running with it …
C,S. This post prompted me to contact my daughter’s teacher. I asked if there were children in her kindergarten class that were not bringing snacks everyday. She told me yes and also said I could send in snacks for her to give these children. Made a trip to the store today and have several boxes of snacks for her to pass out to make sure every kid has a snack. Thanks for waking me up.
L.A.S. I love this! i’m going to message my daughters teacher tomorrow!
D.M. GOOD FOR YOU,,I AM NOW CONSIDERING GOING TO THE LOCAL SCHOOL TO SEE HOW I CAN HELP,,THANK YOU,,6 YRS, US ARMY,,DISABLED VETERAN
Funny how good deeds inspire others to do their own good in the world, isn’t it?
Last year, Ms. Boncie was selected to attend the Effective Altruism Global 2016 conference in San Francisco. She was hand-picked from thousands of applicants and nominations throughout the world because she possesses the right combination of analytic thinking with altruistic motivations. Not only was she chosen to attend, but she was also awarded a scholarship.
Rayn has earned several awards and designations including but not limited to The Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award from President Obama.
I applaud this woman, the organization she founded and has dedicated her life to, as well as all those who volunteer their time and/or resources to Things of my Very Own, for they are helping so many young children in countless ways. Thank you, Ms. Boncie for all you do!