The stockings are hung, by the chimney with care, in hopes that…In hopes of what? For many children who have been placed into the foster care system, they have come from homes where there was no Christmas, there was no hope. They have come from families that did not celebrate a holiday. They have come from environments where there were no presents, no tree. They have come from homes where there was not holiday joy or love.
Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, Kwanzaa; these are times that can be extremely difficult for many foster children. During this time of Holiday Cheer, many foster children are faced with the realization that they will not be “home for the holidays,” so to speak, with their biological family members. When they wake up Christmas morning, and are surrounded by people who just may be strangers to them, strangers who are laughing and having fun, it can be a very difficult time for them, indeed. To be sure, it is a day that is a stark reminder to these children that they are not with their own family.
The children we serve have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect and placed into foster care. As a way to bring some joy, we love to give gifts to each and every CASA child we serve to help brighten their day. We are so fortunate for our community who steps it up every year and makes this happen! This year we almost doubled the amount that we brought in last year and it’s humbling to know we have such an amazing support system in our community.
- We are thankful for the families who took the initiative and had their children participate by picking out presents for the children they chose to buy for. There are so many great life lessons that can be learned by giving to those in need and we are thankful that our drive was chosen for these valuable teachings.
- A huge thank you to Cumberland Insurance Group who took on 85 of our CASA kids! The pile created when they dropped off was a great reminder that our kids are definitely loved and cherished (there were even a personalized gift!).
- We are thankful for Bethany Grace Community Church who has supported Christmas at CASA for the past 3 years. Every year their congregation surpasses our expectations.
- We were blessed by Bridgeton’s First United Methodist Church who joined our mission for the first time this year and provided gifts and gift cards to a few of our kids.
- Another continuous supporter of CASA, the Salem Bar Association, focused on surprising 50 teens by providing a $25 gift card, card and box full of snacks for each one. Our teens are sometimes overlooked because they’re not as fun to shop for, but this is the second year in a row that Salem Bar Association dedicated their time and effort to bring cheer to 50 of our teens.
- Our friends at US Silica dropped a cart full of presents for our kids today including a Big Wheels that I wish I was small enough to ride!
- We are thankful for Joy at Peace Love Yoga for donating her tip money from her “charity massage” effort during October and November to help with our Angel Tree this Christmas! When asked why she gives back she said, “It was sort of a “why not?” thing. I love helping out in the community, & as a massage therapist & yoga instructor, I enjoy sharing my skills to better the well-being of others.”
- We recieved a $400 check from A. H. White Enterprises Inc. from Williamstown! This huge monetary gift gave us the ability to buy toys, clothes and gift cards needed for our kids and teens! Thank you to their team for choosing to help our foster kids.
- A huge thank you to Troop 51024 Daisies and Brownies! They donated 25 stockings filled with goodies for our CASA kids! Aren’t they the cutest!!
- A special thank you to Joanna Corsino, a CASA of CGS Advocate, who rallied up 37 rolls of wrapping paper and tape to wrap all the presents! Thanks Joanna for always helping and going over and beyond with your mission.
- Shout out to those who came out during out “Wrapping Party” and helped wrapped majority of the presents, trust me that was a HUGE help!