Monthly Archives: March 2023

The Essential Role of an Advocate in Healing After Sexual Assault

Brad’s story is a powerful one — of being sexually assaulted during his first semester at college, far away from home and feeling alone and ashamed.

The Family Service League Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate provided much-needed support and encouragement, informing Brad that he was not to blame for the assault and there were many resources available. These included forensic evidence collection and reporting to local police with the aid of the advocate, as well as clothing, water, food, and toiletries to help restore Brad’s dignity.

Finally, Brad learned of his rights and resources at school that helped him feel safe so he could continue his education. 

Without advocates like these, victims often feel isolated and unaware of the services available to them. The care and support of an advocate is essential for any survivor’s healing process.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you are helping victims like Brad feel safe and supported. Every service agency we partner with is committed to making futures brighter in New Jersey.

Will you join us? Learn more when you visit

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Finding Hope and Strength in Counseling: Sean’s Story

Introducing Sean, a man who is committed to his recovery and found critical assistance through one of our partner agencies, the Family Service Bureau of Newark (FSB). Here’s a glimpse into his story.

From experimenting with marijuana in his teens to using heroin in his late 20s, Sean was eventually arrested for defending himself against an abusive partner. 

The Family Service Bureau of Newark provided him with the support he needed to transition back into society without reverting to drugs. With their help, Sean has found stable housing and employment and works to serve his community.

Despite the counseling stigma within the African American community, Sean found strength and growth through it, developing healthier relationships and understanding what a healthy relationship looks like. 

Today, Sean remains positive and committed to recovery, learning how attending counseling can be beneficial as support against relapse.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you help organizations like FSB provide support and services to children in New Jersey.

Will you donate today? Visit and select ‘donate’ (or ‘link in bio 👉 @holidayfundnj’)

Every contribution makes an impact!

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Through Family Connections, Kristine Rediscovers Her Strength Amidst Trauma

Shortly after moving to New Jersey, Kristine experienced a huge change in her smart, handsome husband. He became physically and verbally abusive and it didn’t pass as she had hoped. When they later had three children together, things only got worse. 

As the abuse continued, and Kristine noticed similar behaviors in her 3-year-old son, she also discovered infidelity and other offenses. Finally, she decided to leave with her children. 

Despite the relief of being free of him, she had to find help for her three children who had endured severe trauma at the hands of their father. Not to mention, she had a long road ahead of her as she worked through her trauma and inevitable court battle.

Thankfully, she didn’t need to figure it all out on her own. Kristine and her kids started individual and family counseling at Family Connections’ Domestic Violence program, Dreams. Through art therapy and counseling, they worked to improve her children’s self-esteem, assisted them in processing their emotions, and helped them in realizing that they weren’t at fault for their violent father’s actions.

Three of Kristine’s kids are still receiving and benefiting from outpatient counseling through Family Connections even though their time at Dreams is over. 

This New Jersey mother is grateful to have a happy ending to her story thanks to the assistance of Family Connections. We are proud to partner with Family Connections and play a role in supporting families like Kristine’s.

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Success Story: Mia’s Quick Recovery Thanks to Children’s Aid and Family Services

It’s very common for children under the care of Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS) to have already experienced 6-10 placements. As a result, there’s little to no medical history recorded, and few ever see the same doctor twice. 

So, when chronically ill Mia needed medical care, we are thankful for the CAFS Medical Services and Advocacy Center, whose staff have trusting relationships with the children and make sure kids still have access to high-quality medical attention. 

When 12-year-old Mia had been experiencing low-grade fevers and other symptoms while living in one of the agency’s foster care group homes, blood tests showed she may have had sickle cell anemia. Thankfully, an attentive endocrinologist ran further tests which revealed that it was actually just a viral infection, avoiding a much more serious diagnosis. With rest and fluids, Mia made a full recovery soon after.

Thanks to the Children’s Aid and Family Services’ Medical Services and Advocacy Center, deserving kids have access to comprehensive healthcare, allowing them to receive timely diagnoses and treatments that can improve their quality of life.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you help organizations like CAFS provide support and services to children in New Jersey.

Will you donate today? Visit and select ‘donate’ (or ‘link in bio 👉 @holidayfundnj’)

Every contribution makes an impact!

Original story taken from