ELIZABETH, NJ — May began with good news for foster youths in the Union County child welfare system: they have the support of their peers. Four Girl Scouts from Cranford and Elizabeth partnered with local businesses to create a fundraising event in which all proceeds were directed to Court Appointed Special Advocates of Union County. Girl Scouts Natalie Kastin of Troop 40222, Maddie Litterio of Troop 40013, Olivia Torsone of Troop 40013 and Elizabeth McMullen of Troop 40013 hosted a “Sunday Funday” event on Sunday, May 1, as part of their Silver Award project, to make a difference for youths aging out of the child welfare system in their community.
CASA of Union County is all about making a difference in a child’s story. For the older youths involved in the child welfare system, aging out can be extremely challenging, as they may be facing transitions in many areas of their lives, including education, housing and employment. Any support as they transition from involvement in the child welfare system to independent living and learning is welcome. These four Girl Scouts’ “Sunday Funday” event, featuring games, face painting and other activities, raised $900, which will be used to buy gift cards for youths aging out of the system.
Each Girl Scout had her own reason for choosing to support CASA of Union County.
Kastin said, “I wanted to support CASA to help with some of the great things they do.”
Chiming in, Litterio said, “I wanted to support CASA, specifically teens in foster care, so they know there are other teens and peers in Union County that are there to help them.”
Similarly, Torsone said, “We selected this project to help teens just like us, so they know they are not alone.”
McMullen said, “As a Girl Scout, we should reach out to those in need, especially kids. It’s important to support organizations like CASA, to keep them viable.”
CASA of Union County serves to empower and support the 1,468 youths involved in the local child welfare system due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. To learn more about CASA of Union County, secure a seat in an upcoming training class or learn about other ways to get involved, contact [email protected].
Photo Courtesy of Gretchen Boger-O’Bryan