E-News: Holiday Wrap Up

January 13,  2010

Fostering Hope

In this issue children in our specialized foster homes share their thoughts and feelings on the holidays

This was one of the best issues if not the best. I guess it is best to have the children and their families speak directly to us...the advice given on how to deal with different religions within one household as well as the frank sharing of feelings on so many subjects struck me like a thunderbolt in the middle of...the holy days. 

Herb  Ouida

YCS Trustee

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In the News!
Hackensakc Police and Firefighters

Hackensack Police and Firefighters respond to a call for Secret Santas  and make the wishes of 150 children come true.
Hackensack Chronicle article

News 12 and WMBC TV spotlights

  Greater Newark Holiday Fund
Share the Joy!
2009 Campaign
For 72 years the Greater Newark Holiday Fund has been making the holidays a little brighter for people in need .  YCS is honored to be  "one of 12 outstanding social services charities" in northern New Jersey to receive the funds on behalf of its clients.

Two families in YCS were profiled for the Fund in  the Star Ledger's Sunday newspapers.  To read these heartwarming stories, please click below.

Thank you for helping Words and Pictures choose a holiday  gift for  children at Holley

For all the details, read Joan Verdon's article in the Sunday Bergen Record

A Creative way of giving back
YCS trustee and long time supporter, Faye Samuels, has recently launched  a new career creating beautiful hand crafted pieces of decoupage art.  Always thinking about the children, Faye is donating a percentage of each sale to YCS.  If you'd like to see several of the items currently available, please click here

Parker School student

Youth Group party for TLC
Friedns of YCS Holiday Party

Thank you!

TLC Boy and santa
 for making the holiday   season so memorable for all the children at YCS

Panasonic Secret Santa

Dear Friends,

The outpouring of support for our children this holiday season has been so heartwarming.  Many of the children we serve do not have families who can make season as memorable as they would want.  But, with your assistance, we have been able to bring unexpected joy into all our children's lives.

There are so, so many examples of your generosity of timAlpine/Closter Weicherte, ingenuity, resources and spirit.  I wish I could share with you all the stories, I have heard.  Every personal act of giving is of the utmost  importance to us.  However, with only limited space,  I can only share a few.

One small gesture of kindness at a holiday
party at sanofi-aventis sparked another and then another. Carol Gonzalez, a sanofi-aventis volunteer, was helping the children put on their coats at the end of the party.  One little girl handed her a balloon sculpture she had gotten as a gift.  When Carol went to return it to her, the girl whispered thank you and said it was her gift to Carol.

Carol was so moved by the girl's generosity that she later inquired into how she could give the girl a Christmas gift.  When she found out that the girl needed clothing, Carol went on a shopping spree and bought the girl a coat, gloves, hat, several outfits, books and a craft project.  Carol drove two hours
ellen jacobs
from her home in Pennsylvania to the YCS Foundation in Hackensack to make sure the little girl received the gifts before Christmas.  When Carol told her friend about her experience, she also wanted to help and she became a Secret Santa for two other children.

The employees of Boswell Engineering have never met the children, but that has not stopped them from fulfilling our children's wishes for 11 consecutive years. Each year, several dozen shopping bags arrive at the Foundation filled to the brim with gifts.  According to
project coordinator Diane Trope, although they are asked to provide one of the three gifts from each child's wish list, the employees at Boswell make sure that every wish is granted. 
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When Jersey Cares found out that some of the boys would really like to attend the Nets/Lakers game, Sherry Fazio, Jersey Cares director, pulled strings to make it happen.  A  constant supporter all through the year, Jersey Cares coordinates a Frosty's Friends wish list campaign with their corporate partners.  They hosted parties, conducted a pajama drive and personally "adopted"  every family in our TLC program.

Tina Grotheer lends the Foundation a hand every holiday.  She helps sort the Secret Santa presents and wraps  mounds of gifts.  This year her 14 year old daughter Kristin wanted to help out. She enlisted the help of her Girl Scout Troop - #1311in  Mahwah.  The scouts' project theme was "Make the Holidays Happy." They hosted a "Sell Your Gold" party for adults and also asked for help from fellow students. With the donations, the scouts purchased 67 pairs of new pajamas for children in YCS residences and delivered to the Foundation two carloads of new toys donated by the students and teachers at their school.
Child and staff member at holiday party
I personally received a handmade holiday card from the mother of a child at one of our residences.  Inside was a generous donation with a short note thanking eveyone at YCS for helping her son. Her expression of gratitude was a heartfelt gift to all of us.

And so the acts of generosity go on and on.  On behalf of all the staff, I want to thank you for being such shining examples for our children.  I hope that as the children mature into adults that they will remember your kindness and "pay it forward" into the next generation.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,
Richard Mingoia
President and CEO

Please click here for a list of 
Secret Santa donors
2009 holiday appeal donos