Warm Thanks

Dec 18, 2019

To the Editor:

St. Francis Human Concerns Department and Family Support Services would like to take this time to thank community residents, volunteers and businesses that made the “Gift of Warmth” project possible this year.

Our community assisted 256 families who struggle to provide their 633 children with warm clothing this winter. The “Gift of Warmth” project provides children living within our community warm clothing, coats, bedding and footwear.

Thank you to local businesses that hung the project’s gift tags on their trees and wreaths. Gift tags were placed throughout the community at Murphy’s Market, Old Causeway, The Local, ScoJo’s, and Dr. Todd and Cynthia Schmoll’s Family Medicine office.

Special thanks to the Manahawkin Home Depot Store for donating the use of a box truck to transport gifts from the community center to the distribution site. Students from the OCVTS-MATES Academy returned for the fifth year to help us pack and sort the gifts in record time. This helped to expedite the countless hours it takes to organize all of the families’ gifts, and we are so grateful for their assistance.

We are thankful for ongoing and new community partners, who donated funds and sponsored entire families in support of the project. We wish to recognize the following community partners for their commitment to this project: LBI Rotary Club, Brant Beach Yacht Club, the staff at Home Depot-Manahawkin, the St. Francis Counseling Department staff, the Zion Church, The Jetty Rock Foundation, the Boosters Auxiliary of SOMC, as well as local residents who sponsored individual families.

We would like to thank the countless residents who purchased gifts, gift cards, or provided monetary donations. Without you, this project would not be successful. The generosity of our community is made clear by the hundreds of bags of gifts that are organized and dispersed each year to help struggling families provide gifts of warmth to their children. Thank you to the Southern Ocean County community for your generous donations and your continued support of our programs.

Amy Bodine, director

Family Support Services Program

St. Francis Community Center

Brant Beach

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