By: Follow South Jersey Staff
BRIDGETON, N.J. — At any given day, over 430,000 children are living in foster care, separated from their parents and often their other siblings as well, due to abuse and neglect. With the average age of placement at just 8 years old, these children are often traumatized from such drastic life changes, feeling scared, confused, and alone while moving from home to home. Before the age of 18, the average foster child moves a total of seven times, and often during these moves, they lack basic necessities and carry their belongings in a trash bag.
Dedicated to eliminating trash bags as a form of luggage and providing foster youth with the basic necessities they often lack during moves, local charities Operation South Jersey, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties (CASA of CGS), and Seasons of Giving have partnered, along with local businesses, to collect hygiene products for their Duffel Bag Project throughout May.
“We want to make sure these kids have everything they need to hopefully help ease their transitions,” says Hillary Nichols, Outreach & Victim Services Coordinator at CASA of CGS and Founder of Operation South Jersey. “And we are encouraging people to get involved in the spirit of Foster Care Awareness Month this May.”
For this campaign, their goal is to fill their duffel bags with the following items: shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, body spray, razors, hair brushes, combs, and feminine products. These items can then be dropped off at any one of their partnering community organizations and businesses at the following locations:
40 East Commerce Street
Church by the Bay
244 E. White Horse Pike
10 E. Main Street
Philly Pretzel Factory (receive a free pretzel with donation!)
108 Swedesboro Road
Mullica Hill, NJ
460 Hurffville Cross Keys Road
R&R Auto Group
498 Lambs Road
Verns Place 4 Parts
263 Irving Avenue
Century Savings Bank
100 N. Main Street
Mullica Hill, NJ
1163 Shiloh Pike
Operation South Jersey is a local charity created in early 2013 that promotes community building and serves local foster youth and families in crisis through a variety of donation drives and volunteer projects based on community needs. Learn more about Operation South Jersey by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Founded in 2004, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties (CASA of CGS) is a nonprofit organization that trains volunteer advocates to speak up on behalf of abused and neglected children in the Family Court System. Learn more about CASA of CGS by following them on Facebook and Instagram, and by visiting their website.
Seasons of Giving is a local charity organization that serves disenfranchised populations. Each season, the organization hosts campaigns to collect items for specific needs within the community, and encourages community members to contribute to campaigns without fear of corporate involvement. Learn more about Seasons of Giving by following them on Facebook.
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