During this time of joy, it is important to remember the most vulnerable members of the community struggling with poverty and mental illness. Bernice, a 21 year old mother of 2, receives case management services through Family Service. She grew up in foster care after her grandmother passed away when she was 13. During her time in program, Bernice has learned to independently care for herself and her children. Today she is enrolled in a Medical Assistant program at the Anthem Institute and maintains a high grade point average. Although Bernice is putting her life back together and building a future for her family, she cannot afford holiday gifts for her children.
Any donation, no matter what the size will make a difference and give families like Bernice’s a sense of hope. As the number of families in need continues to grow, the community’s generosity is more critical now than ever. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to hold a gift drive among co-workers, friends or family members. Family Service provides volunteers with all the tools necessary to run a donation drive right out of their home or office.
This year, Family Service has seen an increase in area youth reaching out to their classmates and neighborhood for holiday donations. Pamela Collins, Director of Development and Communication explained, “Just last week, a young girl encouraged all of her friends to bring new, unwrapped toys for children in need in lieu of gifts to her 9th birthday party. During Thanksgiving, 12-year-old Lane Mayher of Moorestown organized a food drive by collecting door to door. It is wonderful to see our younger community members stepping up to get involved.”
Robert Joseph, a fifth grader from M. H. Allen Elementary School in Medford, NJ, says it best, “If everyone puts in a little bit and works together, we can all make a big difference.”
Family Service, a private non-profit community agency, serves the behavioral health and wellness needs of children, individuals and families in southern and central New Jersey. For more information, please call the Development Office at (609) 267- 5928.
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Family Service is a private, non-profit community agency serving the behavioral healthcare needs of children, individuals and families in central and southern New Jersey.