Answers to Your Questions

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Answers to Your Questions

Home > Services > FAQs

Answers to Your Questions

Home > Services > FAQs

What services are offered by Things of My Very Own, Inc.?2024-02-29T13:23:01-05:00

We provide children fleeing abuse and neglect with basic necessities such as clothing, bedding, personal hygiene products, emergency food, and medical supplies. We also offer a variety of long-term programs to support children and families throughout their healing process.


Sponsor-a-Child in Crisis (Wish Tag Program) FAQs2024-02-29T13:33:59-05:00

What is the Sponsor-a-Child in Crisis Program?

A: The Sponsor a Child in Crisis Program (AKA The Wish Tag Program), helps children who have endured recent traumatic events to receive toys and other items needed for their transition to safety. It also helps children in crisis to gain the items they require to survive (e.g., clothing, food, blankets, infant formula, diapers, and more).

Where can I pick up a Sponsor-a-Child in Crisis Wish Tag?

A: Wish Tag locations are posted on our Facebook page and are updated daily. If a business runs out of Wish Tags, we will update the most recent post to reflect such. When we restock a business with Wish Tags, we will update the post again.

What is the suggested amount to spend on each child?

A: On average, individuals will choose to spend $100 or more on a child in crisis to sponsor their Wish Tag fully. Remember, the items you purchase do more than give children toys for Christmas. Your gifts will provide children with the items they need to remain with their non-abusive family members and out of the foster care system.

What is an Urgent Needs Wish Tag?

A: These Wish Tags represent the needs of a child-in-crisis that has been referred to the organization. While every child hopes for toys and gifts during the holiday season, it has been determined that the needs of the child far outweigh the benefits that any toys could bring. By choosing an Urgent Needs Wish Tag, you are giving a child hope of remaining in the care of their non-abusive caregiver and out of the foster care system.

Can I still provide toys to a child listed on an Urgent Needs Wish Tag?

A: Absolutely!

Where do I bring the items for the child I am sponsoring?

A: Items may be brought back to the Things of My Very Own Crisis Intervention Center located at 249 Green Street in Schenectady. Drop-off hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9am-noon.

When are the items due?

A: Each Wish Tag has a due date written on it. We must receive the items on or before this date so the family can receive their gifts before the holiday.

Do the items I provide need to be new?

A: Yes, all items for our Sponsor-a-Child in Crisis Program must be new. Children are very intelligent; they know that Santa’s elves only make new items.

Do I wrap the items?

A: Items must be inspected prior to distribution, for this reason, we require that the items come back unwrapped. You are welcome to provide wrapping paper or gift bags for the child(ren) you are sponsoring.

Can I provide a monetary donation instead of grabbing a Wish Tag?

A: Absolutely! We have worked for over 16 years to negotiate contracts and pricing with retailers and manufacturers throughout the United States. This allows us to purchase items for a fraction of retail prices. For this reason, monetary donations go much further than buying items in stores.

What are acceptable items that can be donated to help children in crisis?2022-03-02T09:39:25-05:00

We happily accept the following items:

New and like-new

  • Clothing in sizes premie to adult 8XL, and which would be appropriate for a child or teen to wear to school
  • Sneakers and winter boots
  • Bedding
  • Strollers
  • Pack ‘n Plays

Must be new

  • Mattresses
  • Toiletries such as toothbrushes, shampoo, hairbrushes, diapers, etc. (must be in untampered packaging)
  • Toys (Must be  in original packaging)
  • Cribs
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Socks, undergarments, and bras
Where and when can I drop off donated items?2024-02-29T13:27:26-05:00

The crisis intervention center is a secure building at 249 Green Street in Schenectady. Our donation drop-off hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 am to noon. We are out in the community working with families at all other times.

When you arrive at the building, please pull to the back of the parking lot and call (518) 630-5143 for a donation screening. For your convenience, the telephone number is also posted on the door. Once the donation screening is complete, a member of our team will start viewing the security camera footage. Once we see your vehicle exit the premises, a member of our team will come out to retrieve the items. This process helps ensure that the children we are helping inside the building remain safe.

What items CANNOT be donated?2023-03-27T11:02:10-04:00

We do NOT accept the following items:

  • Clothing with stains, rips, tears, holes, and/or pilling
  • Clothing with a low-cut neckline or that is see-through
  • Anything with local sports team logos
  • Used socks, underwear, or bras.
  • Used toiletries,
  • Used toys/stuffed animals/books
  • Used baby equipment.
  • Used electronics
  • Used mattresses
  • Home decorations
How do I make a monetary donation to Things of My Very Own, Inc.?2020-11-04T18:37:46-05:00

You can make a monetary donation by credit card, cash, or check. If you wish to donate by credit card, simply complete our online donation form. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to:

Things of My Very Own, Inc.
249 Green Street
Schenectady NY 12305.

Remember to ask your employer about matching gifts programs.

Can I volunteer my time to help?2020-11-04T18:37:52-05:00

Yes! Volunteers are the heart and soul of our efforts. Take a look at the volunteer opportunities and submit an application.

How can someone request services if they need them?2024-02-29T13:28:12-05:00

Things of My Very Own, Inc. is a referral-based agency. Non-emergency referrals are accepted from partnering agencies on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 am to noon.

Emergency referrals are accepted from pre-approved caseworkers 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.*

*Please note: only caseworkers who have completed the emergency referral training may refer clients on an emergency basis.

Which organizations can make referrals to Things of My Very Own, Inc.?2023-11-21T15:10:03-05:00

The following agencies currently make non-emergency referrals to Things of My Very Own, Inc:

  • Albany Medical Center Postpartum (The Birth Place at Albany Medical Center)
  • Albany Medical Center OB/GYN
  • Alliance for Positive Health
  • AptiHealth
  • Bellevue Woman’s Center
  • Berkshire Farms Center & Service for Youth
  • Capital Care Medical Group
  • Capital District Psychiatric Center
  • Care Central at Visiting Nurse Service
  • Care Design NY
  • Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Family Center
  • Cayuga Centers
  • Center for Independence
  • Child Protective Services (CPS)
  • City Health Works
  • City Mission
  • CMS Kinship Caregiving Program CC
  • Community Maternity Services (CMS)
  • Department of Social Services (DSS)
  • Ellis Family Health Center
  • Ellis Hospital
  • Ellis Medicine
  • Ellis Mental Health Clinic
  • Ellis Pediatrics
  • The Food Pantries of the Capital District
  • Health Homes of St. Mary’s Health Care
  • Healthy Schenectady Families
  • Hometown Health Center
  • Monroe Plan for Medical Care
  • New Choices Recovery Center
  • New Choices Shelter Plus Care
  • Northern Rivers
  • NYS Kinship Navigator
  • Parsons Child & Family Center
  • Parsons Early Head Start
  • Parsons Short Term Services
  • RISE
  • Safe Inc.
  • St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Samaritan Heath Homes
  • Saratoga Center for the Family
  • Schenectady City School District
  • Schenectady Community Ministries
  • Schenectady County Public Health
  • Schenectady County WIC
  • Schenectady Works
  • Scotia-Glenville Central School
  • Tri-County Care
  • Trinity Alliance
  • Visiting Nurse Service of NY (VNS)
  • Young Parents United, Inc.
  • YWCA

Have a question about making a referral? Call us at 518.630.5143 or send us an email.

How do I become a referring caseworker?2023-02-27T11:36:10-05:00

For more information on how to refer a family please contact 518-630-5143 or [email protected].

How can my organization become a referring agency?2024-02-29T13:32:00-05:00

For information on how to become a partnering agency, please email [email protected].


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