Here’s an example of an amazing pairing. It’s the story of how a soft-spoken caseworker inspired a teen in foster care to pursue her passion of working with young children.
After a childhood in and out of shelters and foster homes, it was Debbie McCrae, teenaged Carnita Tyler’s case worker, who took her in as her own. Today, Tyler refers to McCrae as “Mom” and can’t say enough about her positive influence:
“My mom showed me how to be a woman…How to step out of myself and be a good person and do for others. She is a generous person and that makes me want to be more generous.”
You, too, can have an influence on the lives of kids, teens, and young adults like Tyler. When you support the agencies we partner with, like Youth Consultation Service, you are impacting kids in foster homes, residential programs, educational programs, and much more. Learn about YCS and other Holiday Fund agencies at https://holidayfund.org/agencies/
Newark-native Lloyd Wilson has always wanted a business of his own. Now at 40 years old— and after two strokes, cancer, and even being shot— he is making his dreams come true through the Newark Paper Company.
Wilson and 2 other employees learned about the opportunity to become business owners through the Urban League of Essex County. He started the company after noticing a great need in the city:
“You have multiple Fortune 1000 companies in the City of Newark as well as a large city government, a large school district…they all use paper,” Hall told NJ Advance Media. “They all use office paper, they all use sanitary paper. This is something that you’re going to buy anyway, so why not make it or produce it right here in the City of Newark?”
Newark Paper Company is warehouse distribution center for office supplies and janitorial products. When the business first opened during the pandemic, they faced supply chain issues and didn’t have enough paper to produce tissues and disposable gloves. Now, things are back on track.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Lloyd said, “My four-year-old daughter is the reason why I make sure my stake in the company stays. Especially after I build it up. You can’t build something up and walk away from it.”
“My friends and colleagues at work and church tell me that I am always trying to be super woman, trying to carry the world on my shoulders. As a mom and wife, I strive to protect and care for my family of seven and provide my children what they need.”
“Unfortunately, circumstance has brought my family to a point that what I could do was not enough. My husband lost his job last year and since then has been working temporary jobs with brief gaps of unemployment. This created a snowball effect of never catching up to bills, being in danger of losing our apartment, and the quandary of how we were going to get our oldest to college — our oldest who had more than earned her share of achievements in school. It was a very stressful time and being a working professional, I felt embarrassed and humbled to ask for help. But God intervened, and I am so glad I did ask.”
“The help we have received from Nutley Family Service Bureau has given my family a moment to catch our breath, a safety net for the times we needed some food, school supplies and gifts for the children. It is quite something to see the relief in your child’s eyes when they see you come home with backpacks filled with supplies for the school year, or when you take them shopping from gift cards you received from “The Three Kings” at Christmas. My children know we work very hard and thus expect just what they need. It is a huge joy when they are able to once in a while receive what they want.”
“And my children, being older, know that help comes from this organization. My husband breathes a sigh of relief when there is one less thing to worry about, one more thing to be grateful for.”
“It shows them that kindness is very much alive and this, I hope, inspires them to do great things one day that will leave another family with that glimmer of hope we received.”
It’s the weekend, and Michael is driving 2 1/2 hours to Connecticut to see Billy, his soon-to-be foster son.
It was a few years ago when Michael first met 13-year-old Billy, who was being fostered by Michael’s business partner. At the time, Billy had already lived with 4 different families in the span of 9 years. It was a challenging time for the young boy.
But Michael and Billy formed a special bond. It was then that Michael made a drastic change. Prior to this, he had lived life only for himself. Then, he started to think about becoming a father to Billy.
Michael decided he wanted to foster Billy with the eventual goal of adopting him. With the help of Children’s Aid and Family Services he became a licensed therapeutic foster parent. Billy moved to New Jersey a year later. With his foster dad’s help, Billy overcame his anxiety around making friends. He became a more confident and independent student, even making the honor roll at school.
Children’s Aid and Family Services is able to provide intensive support services to bring foster parents together with children, thanks to the generosity of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund.
Your gift makes a lasting difference in the lives of foster families like Michael and Billy. Thank you.
Share this story with a foster parent or child you know!
Camp is a wonderful experience for many kids: the great outdoors, fun activities and the company of other campers all make for an unforgettable adventure.
That’s why when Valerie’s eldest son became old enough to join one, he eagerly asked his mom to sign him up. He had always wanted to do it.
As a single mother of two, Valerie earned just enough to provide her family with basic necessities. There was no extra money for other activities, let alone a camping trip. But she knew this experience would give her son growth opportunities that she never had for herself.
That’s when she reached out to the Newark Day Center. He was granted a scholarship through the Fresh Air Fund to attend a 2-week summer camp.
Valerie’s son enjoyed camp thoroughly: making new friends, engaging in many activities and maintaining his smile through it all.
Upon returning home, his mother noticed that he had become more independent. He had an overwhelmingly positive experience and couldn’t stop talking about it. The family was very thankful for the memories and lessons that camp brought to their lives.
Whenever you give to the Holiday Fund, you support the Newark Day Center’s efforts to provide kids what they need to grow and thrive. Thank you for your continued generosity!