Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce to participate in Leap of Kindness Day 2024

Global initiative encourages one and all to do something kind with their extra day


 2024 is a Leap Year, and this means we all get one extra day on Thursday, February 29, 2024 – Let’s Choose to use this Day as a Leap of Kindness!

Leap of Kindness Day aims to inspire folks all around the world to use their extra day to do something kind for someone else. Invented in 2016 by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, in Saratoga Springs, New York Leap of Kindness Day started with area organizations helping thousands of local people by donating their time, talent and treasure to support area nonprofits, seniors, first responders, health care workers, veterans, animal shelters, etc.

In 2020, the initiative expanded with more than 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland participating in Leap of Kindness Day. For 2024, the goal is to continue growing Leap of Kindness Day into a global celebration of kindness with a powerful positive impact.

The Greater Utica Chamber has pledged to participate in Leap of Kindness Day by organizing a food drive to support food pantries run by local schools and colleges. Donations will be accepted from February 14th through the 28th, and will be distributed to benefitting organizations on February 29th.

“Hundreds of our students in our local public schools are homeless and even more than that don’t have access to nutritional food on a daily basis.  For leap of kindness day, the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce chose to organize a food drive for local businesses to replenish food panties in our local public schools, colleges and universities in order to nourish our future workforce.” -Kari Puleo, Executive Director, Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.

“The Kernan Food Pantry was officially opened last year with the help of our Kernan Student Council. Members of our student council noticed that some of their peers did not have meals readily available to them at home, and wanted to help.  We were able to clear out a large walk-in closet in our school and fill it with shelves and storage units. We reached out to our staff and community members to fill our shelves with healthy and easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner items that the student can have at home. Over the year, we have been able to bring students shopping, free of charge, to gather items that they can have at home on the weekends and over long breaks when the funds at home were not available. The families at our school show us constant appreciation for sending food home when times are tough. We are grateful for our Utica community members for their ongoing donations to our Kernan Kids!” – Jordyn Galimo, First Grade Teacher at Kernan Elementary School.

“SUNY Polytechnic Pantry is located on the campus of SUNY Poly in Utica and is a free campus-based food and personal hygiene items pantry available to all students to help supplement basic needs.  Items found in the pantry include: soup, vegetables, cereal, rice, snacks, and various hygiene products (subject to availability). There are also various grab-and-go locations throughout the campus. Poly Pantry is supported by the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Foundation and is funded by donations from local businesses, faculty, staff and students.”  – Diana DiPrimo, Administrative Assistant II, Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, SUNY Poly

If you wish to contribute to this food drive, please contact our Executive Assistant, Joanne Thompson.