He may get a gift. She may visit with her mom or dad. But this holiday, more than 400,000 children will be in foster care in America…their permanent home deemed inappropriate or not yet identified.
Last year, the National CASA Association supported its network of nearly 1,000 community programs that recruited, trained, and supervised more than 76,000 volunteers. Together, they have advocated for more than 251,000 abused or neglected children. CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem County currently have over 1,200 kids who are sitting in the foster care system at no fault of their own. Due to lack of volunteers, we can not serve all the children who need a CASA volunteer. Learn more about a CASA’s role in a child’s life here and start the online volunteer application here.
Our Angel Tree event this year was especially special because of the huge involvement from our community! Local businesses, organizations, families and individuals rallied as a team and brought in over 500 gifts. Because of YOU, we were able to provide gifts to every CASA child in our three counties and help provide “Christmas” to 6 families. We took a slightly different route and asked for stockings filled with small toys and goodies for our CASA kids. Along with the stockings, we also received gift cards, toys and clothes for donating. Below we wanted to highlight a few stories from those who gave to our “Stuff a Stocking for CASA” project.
Salem Bar Association
We worked side by side with Karin Wood of Masten & Ray in Pennsville, who helped with our project by focusing on our CASA teens. They created stockings filled with goodies for teens such as ear buds, gift cards, candy, games and more. They also sponsored a CASA family. Her daughters Girls Scout group also helped bring in extra donation of toys for kids in need! Great work team!
Ashleigh saw our call to action for this project on our Instagram and felt inspired to get involved. She tells us that she has a foster child in her preschool class who is very dear to her and she wanted to help children just like him, “I loved the idea of a stocking for the children to have a few things to open and play with.” She took the initiative and got her whole office involved and together they collects stockings, new hats, gloves and scarfs.
We asked if she gained anything from this experience, “Yes, I learned the joy of helping others, and that when a group of people come together, they can really do something awesome. It’s very easy to get consumed in the craziness during the holidays, so it is rewarding to be able to make someone else’s holidays a little bit better.”
Thank you for all your hard work and love that you and your office gave to help our CASA kids and children in need.
Dana Davis and Brownie Troop #51004
We want to thank Dana Davis with Brownie Troop #51004, who stuffed two stockings to the point of overflowing! The girls had so much fun creating these for two foster girls. There are 13 third graders in their troop and each girl brought something to donate: colored pencils and coloring books, socks, nail polish & make-up, hair brushes, headbands & bows, anti-bac, press-on nails, jewelry, craft kits, Lego Friends and Beanie-Boo stuffed animals. Great work girls, future leaders of the world!
The girls pictured are Alicea Seitzinger, Ava Gladney, Camille Forte, Katalina Talavera, Kylie Stipes, Mackenzie Davis, Annmarie Rice, Sophie Bauman, Gianna Schofield, Lauren Stanger, Laila Williams, Kennedy Seeley-Moore, Alana Kline.
Cumberland Insurance Group
Cumberland Insurance Group in Bridgeton continue to help give gifts to our CASA kids every Christmas! This year was no different. They donated over 30 stockings for all ages. As ALWAYS, we appreciate your constant effort and support you give CASA for every project we hold throughout the year.
Bethany Grace Community Church
Bethany Grace Community Church is another CASA supporter who continues to help with anything and anytime we need a hand. They always jump in with no hesitation, eager to round up their congregation to help give back. This project was no different. Nick Dobrowolski, pictured below, worked very diligently bringing in a trunk and car full of presents (not all presents pictured). Lets just say, I couldn’t see out my back window! Thanks again Nick, Pastor Weinstein and the Bethany Church family!
Samantha Cocove and Trumaine Sherry
Samantha saw our “Stuff a Stocking for CASA” project on the CASA website. She felt inspired to donate to CASA because this year it really hit her that not all kids are given equal opportunities for their personal success. She does mentoring and tutoring at Cumberland Regional High School who also inspired her to contribute. She tells us, “I balance the tight schedule of a full time student and I work multiple jobs. Unfortunately I don’t have as much free time as I would like to volunteer. I figured the least I could do was make sure that some kids had a gift to open up on Christmas.”
Her boyfriend, Trumaine Sherry, was more than supportive of this. He supplied about half of the materials. She also extended the invitation to help to her facebook friends, coworkers and fellow students. She received several donations of books, art supplies and candy from these wonderful people.
“Trumaine, his nephew Jackson and I worked on filling the stockings on two different occasions. After inserting what was the first batch of art supplies, toys and candy, I thought the stockings were complete. Trumaine suggested we also give the children books. I bought many books at Philly Aids Thrift. Trumaine and I planned to go to Bogarts to buy the remaining 30-something. Instead, his 7-year-old nephew went through his own books and he gave us a large pile to use. This project became meaningful for the three of us and we hope to do more with CASA in the future.”
Great work!! We appreciate the 40 stockings you donated and please know that the kids were thrilled to see that someone actually thought of them and glowed with excitement when they were given their gifts.
Lisa Voit, Daily Journal, Circle D Farms
We appreciate all the support and promoting that Lisa Voit, with The Daily Journal, does for CASA. She shares with out being asked because she has a huge heart and want nothing else but to give back to her community, especially our CASA kids. She is also very involved with Circle D Farms, located in Bridgeton, who also donates often to our projects and mission here at CASA. Thank you for all your hard work and support!
We want to give thanks and praise to every family and individual who also contributed, there were many of you! No matter if you donated one stocking or 10 stockings, you made a difference in a child’s Christmas. Most of us take for granted what we have all year round, a home and a family to call our own. Our CASA children are not as lucky but we strive to help give each child a forever home by having our volunteers advocate for them. Thanks again for such a successful “Stuff a Stocking for CASA” project and we hope to join us in volunteering or with future project this coming new year.
From our CASA family to yours!