POUGHKEEPSIE — There’s one late-December day that many Dutchess County workers are sure not to miss.
That’s the day that a group of caroling co-workers, mostly from the county Department of Public Works, parade through each county department as they belt out a collection of holiday favorites. Not only does it bring smiles to many faces, the nearly 20-year tradition collects donations to aid fellow community members needing a helping hand.
Last year’s collection, to which workers and visitors to county offices gave generously, was directed to homeless veterans served through the Hudson River Housing, Inc. non-profit and to the family of baby Ava, an infant girl receiving medical care at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
The majority of the carolers spend most of their days maintaining county buildings and roadways, but on their annual caroling day they used their leave accruals to visit each work site and get their colleagues in the giving spirit. One caroler estimated last year that the group has collected nearly $40,000 from workers’ generosity over the years.
While a career in public service often includes some challenging work, the annual visits from the group known as the County Carolers have become for many a December highlight.
— Jessica Ladlee