Coastline Neighbors threw a holiday reception on Dec. 4 to present gifts valued at more than $1,100 for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Curry County to give to local foster families and kids.

The child welfare department in Curry County will give out 38 baskets from CASA on Friday, Dec. 13 at the annual party for foster children and foster parents, which is very unique to this area, according to Mona Chandler, CASA program director. “No other programs in child welfare do this,” she said.

Santa comes to the party and hands out gifts to the children and then the baskets are given to the foster parents.

“The looks on their faces show gratitude, just knowing that they are being acknowledged for the work they are doing, because the work they are doing is very difficult,” Chandler said. “Acknowledging them and what they are doing is amazing. I don’t know if I could do it or not. But I can be there and give them a voice and report to the judge and make sure those kids are being heard.”

The list of gifts was announced to the tune of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” by Coastlines’ president Lindy McClean, “We’re giving free movie passes, gift cards for hot coffee, mini pizza coupons, tickets to the light show, sandwiches to order, games for everyone to play… hot chocolate, cookies in a box, a book of this and that, and a wish for a happy New Year.”

Approximately 50 people attended the reception, and nearly everyone raised their hands when Coastline volunteer Pattie Slagle asked if they are volunteers for Coastline, and again when asked if they volunteer for other organizations.

In defining Coastline Neighbors’ vision, “We want to be in the community and be part of the community,” Slagle said. “We provide services to people in the community, and we need support of people in the community. At the same time, we want to give back to the community.”

That’s how the group decided to partner with CASA to give something to families that give back to their community.

“I had no idea the level of volunteerism you guys hold in your group.” Chandler said. “I’ve been doing this job for about 12 years now, and every year I am struggling to find funding to give back to the foster parents in our community. When Lindy contacted me and asked if we had a project, I said, ‘Oh yes, there is a project I need help with.’ It’s very much appreciated, and I am humbled.”

Meanwhile, volunteers began passing out boxes of cookies, with icing and decorations so that volunteers attending the reception could frost and decorate the cookies that would be handed out to foster families.

This holiday season, Coastline succeeded in creating a circle of giving by volunteering their volunteers and giving to those who give to others who help our community.

The local organization’s goal is to help people stay independent and live in their own homes for as long as possible. The network of members and volunteers help one another by volunteering to do the little things that can make a difference.

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