• Hopeloft Team

CASA of CGS Volunteers Wrap Birthday Presents for Foster Youth

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Some of the hand-decorated cards created by CASA staff and volunteers.

Last Friday, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties held their first birthday present wrapping event. There, staff and volunteers wrapped presents and created handmade birthday cards for the children served by the organization. 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 (and age appropriate!) book, birthday supplies (birthday hats, noise makers, etc.) and a small gift (stuffed animal, toy, another book, or a gift card).

CASA of CGS staff and volunteers pose with some of the completed birthday bags.

They received a lot of assistance from the Chiarelli family. Marie Chiarelli brought her children (Marciano, age 9, Meadow, age 7, and Marcelo, age 5) and not only did they help wrap and decorate many of the presents, Mrs. Chiarelli also donated a few boxes and bags of hygiene products that they collected from their friends and family for those in need! CASA of CGS is very appreciative of all the volunteers who came out to help! And they’d also like to extend a special “THANK YOU!” to Danielle Morales, of Salem County, who sponsored over 20 CASA of CGS kids for their birthday bags! She has such a huge heart for the kids and CASA couldn’t have held the event without her help!

Being displaced from their parents, their family, and their home due to abuse and neglect is difficult on any given day – but for the children served by CASA of CGS, it’s especially tough during holidays and birthdays. One way the organization hopes to bring a moment of joy to the CASA kids is by providing a present on their birthday! They know presents aren’t a necessity, but in light of the overwhelmingly-positive responses that they received from their Advocates and their CASA children as a result of the CASA Christmas Present Drive and the CASA Duffel Bag Drive, they’ve realized the impact on these children goes beyond the material gift. It’s something they hear often from older foster youth; simple gestures likes these remind them that they are not forgotten and that there are people who do care. One foster child even said, “It’s a gift of hope.”

If you would like to donate supplies for preparing birthday bags (tissue paper, birthday hats, noise makers, toys, gifts cards, children’s books) or would like to sponsor a child, please contact Hillary at: hillary@casaofcgs.org. You can also donate directly by using this link: https://donate.chip-in.us/?nonprofitId=105987 Any amount will help! (Please write “Birthday Bag Project” in memo section.) And, as always, anyone who is interested in volunteering with CASA of CGS may check their website for more info: www.wespeakupforchildren.org

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