PHOTO: Through a partnership of the RBR SOURCE and the RBR BUC Backer Foundation, the holiday wishes for some RBR families will be met this year. Pictured with a mountain of donated gifts from RBR staff and parents are: (left to right) BUC Backer member Judy Noglows, Little Silver, SOURCE Youth Development Specialist Lori Lopez, RBR SOURCE Liaison Claire Harbeck Izzo, Little Silver, and SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller.
LITTLE SILVER, NJ - The Red Bank Regional School District (RBR) conducts numerous community service activities during the holidays from helping homeless families in Monmouth County, buying livestock to address world hunger, creating holiday cards for kids in hospitals and sending stockings stuffed with sweets to our troops in the Middle East. But they also look inward, and through a partnership with the SOURCE and the BUC Backer Foundation, RBR helps fill wishes for families within our own school who would otherwise not know such happy holidays.
Susan Keller, The SOURCE Director states, “For years, we would learn about families in need, either from our own students using the SOURCE services, guidance counselors, our teachers and community members. Our clinicians would gather the wish list for all members of the families and donation Requests were hung on a holiday decorated ‘Giving Tree’ for donors to fulfill.”
Two years ago, the RBR BUC Backer Foundation joined forces to help administer the program and grow it exponentially. The Foundation’s SOURCE liaison Claire Harbeck Izzo brought the program virtual with Sign-Up Genius, which effortlessly allowed people to sign-up for gifts they would buy.
The sign-up is disseminated through both the Foundations’ Constant Contact, website, Facebook page and the RBR internal emails. The results were mountains of gifts personally purchased for 26 families this year which RBR parents and staff personally shopped for and wrapped.
Claire Harbeck Izzo adds, “I appreciate that the privacy of the SOURCE has never been compromised as we (the foundation) have no idea who will be receiving the gifts.”
Suzanne Keller adds, “The partnership works wonderfully as our goal is the same, to meet the needs of RBR students and families and take care of our own.”