Kittens? Well, balloon kittens, to be exact. Where? At our Fourth Annual Family & Friends Day, what a blast! Each year, we like to host this special occasion during our August Food and Clothing Distribution. Why? To honor and show our appreciation for the precious people we serve...many of whom have become like family, and ALL our friends. Our thinking...this calls for a celebration!
And celebrate we did, with over 170 families, over 50 volunteers, and many businesses that partnered with us to make this our most successful Family & Friends Day yet. We started our day with free sunglasses for everyone! 4imprint donated hundreds of cool shades in hot neon colors, imprinted with our logo, to go along with our beach theme.
Overwhelming thanks goes to Rehab Connection in West Deptford, for being our August Sponsor of the Month. Their generous donation helped underwrite the cost for this month's distribution. Physical Therapist, Lisa Solovey was joined by Caitlin Judge to provide blood pressure screenings, free giveaways, and simple advice for living a "pain, free, happy and healthy life". Rehab Connection specializes in sprains, strains, back pain, sports injuries, work injuries and much more. For professional and compassionate treatment, please stop and visit them at their new location at 204 Grove Avenue in West Deptford. Many, many thanks for their kindness.
Also providing free health screenings for our guests was Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers (SJFMC). They didn't just participate, they burst onto the scene in their fabulous Mobile Medic Unit. Our guests boarded the unit and received an array of free screenings and basic medical attention. On board with the SJFMC team was Rebecca Castellanos, a Nurse Practitioner. She heard about our Family & Friends Day through a co-worker and immediately signed up to volunteer!
BIG shout out to Studio 240, Edward's Hairstyling, and A Cut Above the Rest of Woodbury, as well as Carlos Figueroa for joining together to provide over 50 free haircuts. Kudos to all our stylists for braving the heat in our "New Image Salon" (seemed like a good idea at the time)! What savings for parents who are preparing their children to go back to school, and for adults who could now use their limited funds for other necessities. Their labor of love and kindness toward our guests was "over the top"! What a tremendous blessing.
Kim Rodkey of Klove Philly, 106.9 FM, rocked the hall with positive, encouraging music. Individual donations helped with the purchase of hot dogs, beverages and popcorn (special thanks to Y-By Rental Center of Mantua for donating the popcorn popper for the third year in a row!!!). The Kustera family created and donated six beautiful and bountiful themed gift baskets for door prizes, as well as gift cards. Beginning at noon we gave away $5 gift cards every 20 minutes to over 30 winners! Hats off to Pat's Select Pizza in National Park, In A Pickle in Thorofare, Studio 45 Salon & Spa, and Ciconte's Pizza and Restaurant for generously donating the cards.
No celebration would be complete without balloons! "Balloon Man" Jack and his team from Family Fun Entertainment created free balloon characters of all kinds for kids of all ages. They aren't your typical balloon artists, they can make ANYTHING! Even kittens!
We could go on and on about all the volunteers from GAP Factory Store, Deptford, West Deptford and Clearview schools, all the kids clothes donated from all over (please keep em' comin'!), our faithful Food Partners, our Rowan Intern, Lelai, and the National Park Fire Department that helped make it all possible. To sum it all up, I quote one of our littlest guests, "This was the best day ever".