Holiday Celebrations in Essex/Union NJ - Article Details

Holiday Celebrations in Essex/Union NJ

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Staff from Essex and Union County NJ were committed to brightening the holidays for the youth and families they serve.  Most advocates have other jobs in addition to their employment with YAP and several employees secured donations from their other employers to help fund holiday activities for YAP families.  Other staff networked with local community partners to get support for holiday festivities.  Thanks to their efforts, many smiles were seen on the faces of the kids and families in Essex/Union.  

Program Director Robyn Dawson shared her thoughts:

"Administrative Manager, Rasheedah Thompson secured 50 tickets for Medieval Times for our Advocates and their clients. Special thanks goes to intern Caitlin Garcia whose hard work as well as personal donations from her job, Cracker Barrel and that of her colleagues there, helped to make our families' holiday phenomenal. Prudential also adopted 5 families and generously donated everything their hearts desired from their wish lists.

"An additional shout out goes to Advocate Lisa Weathers, whose networking with Dominque & Roger Mason, model and retired NBA player, respectively, resulted in a donation of at least $10, 000.00 worth of toys - from bicycles to karaoke machines, in addition to an event that they hosted and catered, replete with face painting and photographs with Santa. The room was packed with our staff who came out in droves with their clients and families. Every child received multiple toys. It was an outstanding event, none of which could have been accomplished without the teamwork and support of all my staff. Bravo YAP Essex & Union!!! "

Thanksgiving Donations

  • 17 Turkeys: Wegmans 
  • 16 cases of water:Wegmans
  • $200.00 Gift Card towards the purchase of food from Stop & Shop
  • $100.00 donation towards the purchase of food from Weis Market

 Christmas Donations

  • 50 Medieval Times Tickets
  • $200.00 Gift Card: Costco
  • $335.00 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
  • 150 Coats: Jersey Cares
  • $5,000.00: Prudential (Approximate $ Value of Donation) - Books, Coats, Basketballs, Headphones, DVD Players, Ipods, Sweaters, Microwave, Toasters, Jordan Sneakers, 5 Thunder Trax RC Bicycles. Dollhouses, 3 Tablets w/Cases, 1 Laptop w/Case, 3 -  50" Televisions, Multiple $100.00 Gift Card (Barnes & Noble, Shop-Rite, Walmart, Target), Comforters, Clothing, Timberland Boots, Etc. 
  • $10,000.00 Dominique & Roger Mason (Approximate $ Value of Donation): Hosted and catered a Christmas Party at The Clubhouse in Newark, N.J., replete with multiple donated toys, photographs with Santa and face painting. 


Media/Press Inquiries

Ryanne Persinger,
National Communications Director

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