Making a Difference: Ozzie's Kids Bringing Joy to Haverhill Children
Making a difference, one donation at a time! We're thrilled to announce our October Charity of the Month contribution. Together, we've raised $10,890 for Ozzie's Kids! Your support fuels positive change, and we couldn't be prouder to be part of such a giving community. Let's continue to spread kindness and make an impact!
Ozzie's Kids is a wonderful charitable organization dedicated to ensuring that every child in Haverhill receives a gift under their Christmas tree. This incredible initiative was started by retired Haverhill police officer Ozzie Hardy, who recognized the need to bring joy to the faces of children in our city. For the past 30 years, with the support of countless volunteers and generous donations, Ozzie's Kids has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of Haverhill children.
Ozzie's journey began 33 years ago when he was working as a Juvenile Police Officer in the schools. He noticed that many children didn't have proper coats, gloves, hats, and other essentials. With the help of some City Hall employees, Ozzie invited about 20 kids to the "old police station" and hosted a heartwarming Christmas party. They distributed warm coats, popcorn, and hot chocolate, bringing smiles to the children's faces.
Since then, "Ozzie's Kids" has grown tremendously, thanks to the support of local businesses, schools, and individuals who generously donate each year. In 2020 alone, we were able to assist nearly 1,300 children between the ages of newborn and 12 years old. Each child receives 5-7 gifts, including essentials like hats, gloves, blankets, or coats, and of course, the toys they truly desire.
Parents begin registering for assistance as early as September, and we also receive numerous referrals from the Haverhill School systems, ensuring that families in need are not left behind.
Sadly, in 2019, we lost Ozzie and his wife Gayle. However, their legacy lives on through the commitment of their children and the dedicated volunteers who continue to carry out their mission. We are honored to be a part of this amazing community that comes together to make a difference. Let's continue to spread kindness and bring joy to the children of Haverhill!