The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) have been generous to the youth at GA Family Services for many years. This Christmas Season they purchased, crafted and donated gifts to bring joy to the youth, many of whom spend the holiday with foster families or on the GA Campus surrounded by their GA family.
"This is a wonderful partnership," said Sylvia Trusso, Program Manager for the Jamestown Therapeutic Foster Care Program. "We will distribute the gifts at our holiday party and on Christmas Day. We appreciate all that they do. This is just one of the many projects the ELCA ladies support here at GA."
According to Dodie Erickson, a member of the ELCA, the Lutheran Churches have circles that include the members who dedicate their time and talent to helping others in need. "We have an ongoing prayer chain for the children," she said. "We helped to set up the media/library room at the GA School. We've filled backpacks for the students at the beginning of the school year, we've collected pieces of luggage for those traveling back and forth to their homes and we assemble Welcome Kits, too."
(From left): Fanchon Fuller and Dodie Erickson, ELCA Representatives; Shannon Langworthy, Foster Care Case Worker; Beth Coughlin, Family Resource Coordinator; Karl Wiggins, Vice President of GA Family Services and Sylvia Trusso, Program Manager for the Jamestown Therapeutic Foster Care Program display gifts donated to the GA Family Services youth for Christmas.
The Cover Girls, a group of women on the LSS Campus who make blankets and lap robes donate to the youth, as well. The Lions Club of Dunkirk and Fredonia made a cash donation for the holiday party. Little Theatre, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Timothy Lutheran Church and the Bethlehem Lutheran Church all sponsor an Angel Tree for the children. Other donors for the holiday party included; The Lakeshore Assembly of God, Tops Markets, The Carriage House, Sandees Bakery and Deli, and Petri Baking Products. "All this community support shows our kids and families that others care," Trusso added. "With the challenges they face, it means the world to them."
Therapeutic Foster Care is a program of Gustavus Adolphus Family Services, located on the Lutheran Social Services campus in Jamestown. GAFS is a specialized treatment program for youth and their families who are in need of care. Treatment includes residential, educational, therapeutic foster care and preventative services. For more information about becoming a foster parent log onto: www.gafamiyservices.org or call Sylvia Trusso at (716) 307-2749.