|For Immediate Release:||Contact: Michael Drewniak
|Date: Thursday, July 21, 2011||609-777-2600|
Trenton, NJ- First Lady Mary Pat Christie today recognized the Bergen County Youth Advisory Board, a group of young people who have been part of New Jersey's child welfare system, for their advocacy to improve the lives of other adolescents, and for inspiring Walmart to donate 7,000 wheeled duffle bags to be given to children to use when they are removed from the home, placed in foster care or are moved between placements. The Advisory Board also has the reassurance that Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) caseworkers will use luggage - not garbage bags - to move children's personal items.
"Sometimes the simplest things we take for granted, like a piece of luggage, mean the world to someone else," said Mrs. Christie. "I want to thank Walmart for their wonderful donation, which I am sure will generate more self-esteem and pride within these children, despite difficult circumstances. I also want to commend the tremendous young people from the Youth Advisory Board who were empowered to use their voices to make a difference in the lives of their peers. This is truly what New Jersey Pride is all about - people helping people."
As a result of a petition presented by members of the Bergen County Youth Advisory Board, DYFS communicated with staff that it is expected when a DYFS caseworker moves a child, the child's personal items will be moved in an appropriate piece of luggage, and that the use of garbage bags is never appropriate. In addition, DYFS reminded staff that flex funds are available to purchase luggage.
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