By John Anderson, 11/5/21
An idea to raise $300 to help families in need during Christmas turned into a $2,400 donation to the Accord Corporation in 2020 and Nick Davis of Genesee Valley Media is back at it again.
The holiday season in 2020 was looking bleak for donations, however, Davis’ video idea helped increase donations to the Holiday Assistance Program by 86%.
“The original idea was a flash-mob video to promote businesses, but Covid stopped that,” Davis said. “Then I tried this hoping for five or six businesses and it turned out to be over 20.”
Wellsville-area businesses paid $50 for 5 seconds in the holiday video. The concept was perfect as it went, as Davis says, “Allegany County Viral.”
“I don’t know if it’s because businesses were happy to get out there who normally don’t get a video or they wanted to help families, but it worked out so well and it went viral,” Davis said. “I consider ‘Allegany County Viral’ a video with 5,000 views in 48 hours. That’s solid. This video did 17,000 views in three days. And people received it well.”
If you want to donate or be part of the video, contact Davis at [email protected] or 585-610-5297.
“Some business owners or employees just said ‘Happy Holiday’ and some didn’t want to talk, but all of them were amazing,” Davis said. “But one of my favorites was Lonsberry’s Septic Service as they did a take-off of National Lampoon Christmas Vacation.”
ACCORD Corporation Services Navigator and Community Action Angels Coordinator Melissa Payne said what Genesee Valley provided in terms of donation was “a big deal” for their program.
“We ended up (getting gifts and helping) 442 kids to increase our holiday assistance program by 86% from the year previous,” Payne said. “Thank goodness we got the return from the holiday Christmas video Nick did and other donors as well. Because we would not have been able to cover our goal without that. We usually process less than 100 applications for holiday assistance. Last year we filled 187 applications for a total of 442 kids.”
Applications are open for families in need for the 2021 Christmas. Accord is hoping Genesee Valley Media comes through again.
“We’re hoping Nick’s wonderful video will bring in as much, if not more. We opened applications on Oct. 11 and we already have 65 applications,” Payne said. “We anticipate the need being as high if not greater.”
Payne said listening to the stories last year was different from other years. Some families had members getting COVID, dying and others were unable to work.
“It’s difficult. People who never needed help in the past needed help for Christmas,” Payne said. “As for gifts, it depends on the age of the children. Ages 0-1 get gifts, older kids get gift cards and Kent’s Tree Farm donated trees and we’ve donated Christmas decorations. Last year, five families were provided an entire Christmas for them, from the tree to decoration to presents.”
Payne said the month is “wonderful” and said, “That’s why I get so excited when donations came in, we can help so many people. The more we get, the more we can help.”
To apply for holiday assistance, www.accordcorp.com and the holiday assistance is on the page, click the link. To donate, reach out to Melissa at 585-268-7605, ext. 1401 or by email ([email protected]).