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Twenty-five Neediest Children's Fund

December 2, 2020 - 4:20pm

From the Twenty-five Neediest Children's Fund Committee:

With the chill in the air and the hours of sunlight diminishing each day, it is a reminder that the days of winter and the Holiday Season are nearly here. But this is a far different year in so many ways. And no doubt, but that for many of us 2020 is a year far different from any that we have ever experienced. With these thoughts in mind the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc. makes its annual appeal to the many good people in our community and beyond.

The Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc. came into existence during another very difficult time -- the days of the Great Depression, about 1933. It was then when Batavia City School District physician, Dr. Dexter Pierce, saw a need that was the inspiration to the founding of the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc. The intent of the fund was to help the 25 most needy children in the Batavia City School District.

At that time, the cost of having tonsils removed involved an overnight stay, which cost families $7.50. The physicians graciously waived their fee but the cost of the overnight stay still proved too much for some families. It was then that the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc. came into existence.

While the original intent of the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund was to help the 25 “most needy” students, over the past 80-plus years we have always helped as many as possible. There are no efforts made to apportion the funds equally among the schools. We simply help when a child’s need exists.

Traditionally our fund has assisted with medical and dental care, eye exams and glasses, prescription drugs, clothing, shoes and sneakers, counseling, and other educational needs. However, this year has challenged the fund to stretch ourselves beyond our usual assistance and we have additionally helped with food, air mattresses, beds, and educational toys to help children who are in need throughout this coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of this fund remains to provide for the needs of children in the Batavia City School District when no other means are available.

As students’ needs are identified by teachers, their school nurse, or Julie Wasilewski, the district’s social worker, the concerns are conveyed to Mrs. Nancy Haitz, R.N., C.P.N.P., Batavia City School District’s Office of the Coordinator of Health Services. Mrs. Haitz contacts the child’s parents and if it is determined that they aren’t able to provide what it is that their child needs and if the family does not qualify for any special services or assistance that is available, the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc. steps in to help.

The parents then select what care is to be provided, and by whom, in order to provide a remedy. Bills are then submitted to the Twenty-five Neediest Fund for payment. There is no red tape, no publicity, and there are no strings attached, as the only purpose is to serve the child in need. No one helped by this fund is ever identified by name, it is strictly confidential, and the name of the child receiving services is not known by the Twenty-five Neediest Children's Fund.

This fund has been dubbed “the Quiet Fund” as we only make one annual appeal at the Holiday Season and it seeks no public acknowledgment or fanfare for the work which is done for the children of the Batavia Public School system. The Quiet Fund is a true charity in every sense of the word. There are no administrative costs! 100 percent of the donations received are used for the benefit of children in need.

We are fortunate that this good community continues to remember the Quiet Fund during the season of giving, and some kindly remember us throughout the year. Every gift is a gift of love and is an affirmation that no child should go without.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Quiet Fund may make their check payable to the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc. to be sent to:

Nann K. Zorn, 12 River St., Batavia, NY 14020

To assist a child, and their parent, in this way is a wonderful and immeasurable gift. On behalf of the children, and their parents, helped by your generosity and gifts of love, we extend to you a most sincere thank you and warm holiday wishes, and blessings to you and yours in the hope of a better 2021! Stay Safe and Stay Strong!

Twenty-five Neediest Children's Fund Committee,

Sara Zorn Schroeder, Chairperson,

Nancy Arras,

Benjamin J. Bonarigo, Esq.,

Nancy Haitz,

Virginia Tiede,

Nann K. Zorn

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