---- — MT. VERNON — Catholic Social Services in the Mt. Vernon region has been making dreams come true this summer for children who have experienced trauma.
Thanks to a $10,000 donation from Continental Tire of the Americas, CSS created the Little Stars program, which grants “wishes” to children in the agency’s foster care and counseling programs.
Since June, 17 children have become Continental Little Stars. CSS and Continental Tire have granted wishes for a guitar, a Nintendo DS, outdoor toys, a trampoline, eight bicycles, and seven camps for basketball, volleyball, church, and dance.
“Most of our children have requested outdoor equipment and activities for the summer,” stated Cassidy Beck, CSS Development Coordinator. “They want the chance to play outside and be on teams just like every other child.”
The Continental Little stars program is vital to CSS, Beck stated, because these awards allow the children to have the same experiences as their peers.
“Many of these children have never gotten to go to camp, or to have their own bike to ride around on with their friends. The Continental Little Stars program is providing these kids with a sense of normalcy and helping them create positive memories,” stated Pam Flota, Regional Director.
All children who are in programs provided by the CSS Mt. Vernon region are eligible to become a Continental Little Star. A committee of community members along with CSS and Continental Tire employees reviews the requests each month and grants wishes to some of the children.
“We are excited to be a part of this experience for the children,” stated Benny Harmse, plant manager of Continental Tire. “We try to focus on our corporate social responsibility and there is nothing better than helping the children and being a part of the wishes that have come true for them.”
The Little Stars program will run through May 2014.