A great experience was provided to youth in foster care, their social workers and prospective adoptive families on Saturday, 9/10/16, when the Center hosted a Day of Service Match Event at the Community Foodbank of New Jersey. It was the youth in foster care in New Jersey who asked that they have an opportunity to volunteer to help others. They expressed a strong desire to give back to their communities.
We all arrived early that morning and Center staff helped everyone get acquainted with ice-breakers and team building activities. It was fun and got our energy up for the day! The social workers had time to present about their youth to the families while, in another room, the youth made cards expressing their thoughts about why they thought it was important to give back to those in need. Some of those cards are the images you see here. We then had lunch together and after lunch we all went to work. We put on our hair nets and entered the Clean Room to sort and pack kidney beans that would be distributed to hungry people all over the state of New Jersey. In just ninety minutes, we made 1536 bags of beans that would feed 768 families!
At the wrap up of the day, all expressed that it was a fun, rewarding day. The families who attended got a chance to interact with the youth, get to know them a little better and share a fulfilling experience. It is always the hope that these events bring about potential matches between the families and youth, but this event added a new element – community service to those in need.