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The Art of Giving: The Life-Changing Stories Behind The Holiday Fund’s Support

Donations to the Holiday Fund enhance lives through transformative programs like STRIVE, serving adults with disabilities and contributing to incredible, life-changing stories.

These words by Maria Ashkenazi, Supports Director at Children’s Aid and Family Services, encapsulate the tremendous impact of the STRIVE Day Program on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and beautifully illustrates why your support to the Holiday Fund matters.

“It was such an enormous sense of achievement for the STRIVE members. They were so proud that the pieces they produced themselves were appreciated and purchased. It was a huge success.” 

The Holiday Fund is a fundraising organization dedicated to supporting eleven charities across New Jersey, one of which is Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS). When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you’re not just contributing towards a cause; you’re helping to create transformative experiences that empower individuals, enrich our communities here in New Jersey, play a part in writing life-changing stories.

The Power of Art and Achievement

This spring, the STRIVE Day Program hosted an art show featuring artworks created by its participants. It was a grand event, opened by Paul Aronsohn, the NJ State Ombudsman for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The offices of CAFS were adorned with the beautiful creations of STRIVE members, inspiring admiration and sparking friendly bidding wars among attendees.

The art show wasn’t just about showcasing talent. It was about instilling a sense of accomplishment and pride in the participants, making them realize their potential, and encouraging them to express themselves creatively. The joy and satisfaction evident in the STRIVE members were a testament to the program’s success and the positive change it brings about in their lives.

Celebrating CAFS: Impact by the Numbers: Children’s Aid & Family Services in 2023

Preparing for the Future

But the STRIVE Day Program doesn’t stop at providing creative outlets; it also equips its members with essential life skills. A few weeks before the art show, STRIVE support coach Akilah Williamson organized a job interview activity. With proper guidance on communication skills, body language, eye contact, and appearance, the participants came prepared, dressed appropriately, and carried their resumes for a mock interview.

At the end of the day, each participant received a certificate of achievement, a token acknowledging their successful completion of the process. For them, it was more than just a piece of paper; it was a symbol of an important accomplishment, a boost to their self-esteem, and a stepping stone towards future part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities.

Your Contribution Matters

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you are supporting these amazing transformation experiences and much-needed organizations like Children’s Aid and Family Services. Your contribution helps create a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment that reaches far beyond the immediate beneficiaries. It helps build stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone has the chance to shine and contribute in their unique way.

Let’s continue to spread joy and hope by making a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Donate to the Holiday Fund today and be a part of this incredible journey of transformation.