Being displaced from your parents, family and home due to abuse and/or neglect is difficult on any given day but it’s especially difficult during the holidays and birthdays. A way we hope to bring a moment of joy for our CASA kids on their birthday, is to provide a birthday present! We know presents aren’t a necessity but from the overwhelming positive responses that we have recieved from our Advocates and their CASA child during Christmas and the delivery of their duffel bag, we’ve realized it goes beyond the material gift. It’s something we hear often from older foster youth, simple gesture likes these remind them that they are not forgotten and cared about. One foster child even said, “it’s a gift of hope.”
We held our first wrapping birthday present event last week, where we wrapped presents and made handmade birthday cards for our upcoming birthdays! Each birthday present is wrapped in hand decorated brown craft paper or placed in a gift bag which includes a birthday card, a brand new/age appropriate book, birthday supplies (birthday hats, noise makers, etc.) and a small gift (gift card, toy, book or stuffed animal). We had such great help from Marciano Chiarelli-9, Meadow Chiarelli-7, Marcelo Chiarelli-5 and their mom Marie, who not only came to volunteer but also dropped off a few boxes and bags of hygiene products that they collected from their friends and family for those in need! We want to thank all the volunteers who came out to wrap presents, decorate and make birthday cards! A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Danielle Morales, of Salem County, who sponsored over 20 kids for their birthday! 20+ KIDS! She has such a huge heart for our kids and we couldn’t have held this event without her help!
If you would like to donate birthday bags, tissue paper, birthday hats, noise makers, toys, gifts cards or sponsor a child, please contact Hillary at Hillary@casaofcgs.org.