This holiday season, Middlesex County community members joined together to ensure some of the most vulnerable children in the county have a reason to celebrate.
Throughout November and December, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Middlesex County received donations of holiday gifts for the children they serve, all who live in foster care due to abuse or neglect.
The majority of the gifts came from Sayreville Middle School, which provided 66 overflowing bags of toys and games collected from kids, teachers and the Parent Teacher Association. Each gift was hand-selected based on the wishes of the recipient. They were all wrapped by the students in the Community Service Club.
Colette Scozzafava, a CASA staff member who delivered gifts to a family with seven children, indicated that delivering the gifts “is a really gratifying, positive experience” and that “some of the children don’t get holiday gifts except for the ones we bring.”
Avalon Bay Communities donated approximately 80 additional gifts that will be given to children to celebrate special occasions throughout the year.
CASA was also grateful to receive 35 bags full of gifts from the Highland Park Middle School to help children living in foster care celebrate their adoptions.
CASA hopes to partner with additional local organizations to provide gift cards to youth in foster care. The gift cards will serve as an incentive to encourage youth to attend the Adolescent Conference scheduled for the spring, which will help youth develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become independent adults.