Dunkirk donations benefit county CASA efforts

From left are Laurie Winkler, case supervisor at CASA, Kathy Park, executive director of CASA, FBLA members Delilah Gonzalez, Joshua Smith, Logan Lasecki and Dunkirk High Business Teacher/FBLA Adviser Michele Dawley.

Dunkirk High School’s Future Business Leaders of America was able, once again, to complete their community service project by collecting items for comfort packs to donate to CASA — Court Appointed Special Advocates — for children who enter the foster care system in Chautauqua County. Their teacher and adviser, Michele Dawley, introduced the idea of collecting items for comfort packs.

“CASA is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart,” Dawley said. “I am so proud of the leadership skills these students exhibited in organizing and running this project”.

Comfort packs contain items children may need after being placed in foster care, such as; toiletries, night lights, pajamas, blankets, small toys, and other necessities. This allows the child to have something tangible and new that they can call their own. The students in grades seven to 12 collected items during their first period classes from Feb. 28 through March 11.

During this time period, they collected more than 500 items to include in these comfort packs.

Additionally, Dawley received a Service Learning Mini-Grant of $500 from Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, which was used to buy additional items to include with the donations received from students.

The items were presented to CASA on June 8 by DHS’s Future Business Leaders of America Treasurer, Delilah Gonzalez, along with FBLA members Joshua Smith and Logan Lasecki.

FBLA students had to plan the service project which entailed creating flyers, a competition (prizes) for the classes who brought in the most items, a budget for prizes and spending of the mini-grant, social media posts to advertise, shopping to spend grant funds for additional donation items and set up a meeting to arrange for the delivery of the collected items to CASA.

“It was fun shopping for CASA and collecting donations from the school! Overall, it was a great experience!” said Delilah Gonzalez.

“I also enjoyed getting to create the flyers for our project,” Logan Lasecki said. The FBLA students will be receiving CASA’s Kids Caring for Kids certificate in honor of their community service project.


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