NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Sibling Week at North Salem’s Camp Morty got a special treat Tuesday when Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino paid a visit and representatives of Pass It On Kid’s Kloset distributed packages filled with camp clothes, sorted by gender, size and personal taste to each of the campers.
The nonprofit Pass It On Kid’s Kloset was founded less than a year ago by Stephanie Roth, under the auspices of Westchester Jewish Community Services.
“The idea came to me when my own child was a year old and someone asked me if I had an extra stroller,” Roth said. “I put out an email and I had four on my doorstep the next day. Next it was car seats. I realized how easy it was to gather and share resources in this county. We, the affluent, don’t realize that 12 percent of the Westchester population under 18 lives in poverty. It’s a struggle to find what your children need.”
Roth described the package as “not just a bag of clothes.”
“It’s a bag of love,” she said. “That bag can reduce stress at home so Mom and Dad don’t have to worry about finding the money to buy the things children want and need.”
County Executive Rob Astorino said, “When special people like Stephanie get involved, we can make things happen. I’m a parent, too, and I can tell you it’s not cheap. Something like this makes it a lot easier for parents.”
Camp Morty, situated in North Salem’s Mountain Lakes Park, caters to the children of families dependent on social services. Sibling Week is extraordinary in that it reunites foster children with their brothers and sisters in the relaxed, fun-filled setting.
Christine Gavin, Camp Morty’s assistant director, said, “One of the families had seven kids. Five are in one foster home, two are in another. So this gives them a chance to be together.”
“What a special week it is, to see your brothers and sisters,” Astorino added, speaking to the gathering of campers and counselors. “We are so happy to have you here in the beautiful outdoors to spend some quality time with people you love.”