Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Saratogian

BALLSTON SPA — Volunteers in Ballston Spa Central School District’s Families in Transition program are preparing special Project Night Night packages for the children it serves. The packages are intended to ease some of the uncertainty the children may be feeling while residing in a local shelter or motel due to a loss of housing or a domestic violence issue.

The package contains a book to encourage family bonding, a fleece blanket to provide a sense of security and a small stuffed animal to provide comfort during their time of need.

While reading through Traditional Home magazine, program coordinator and Prevention Council employee, Mara Gallagher, read an article about Project Night Night’s founder, Kendra Stitt Robins, and her nonprofit organization that works to ease the emotional devastation of children dealing with homelessness. The California-based organization works with community members to gather the items for the totes and then distributes the packages to more than 25,000 children annually.

Ballston Spa Middle School’s Penny Harvest raised $600, which was used to secure the totes and special items that completed the package.

“We were very excited and fortunate to have received a donation from the Ballston Spa Middle School students through the Penny Harvest program,” Gallagher said. “The donation has specifically allowed us to give our youngest children in the program keepsakes that will hopefully add some sense of normalcy during a time of uncertainty.”

Ballston Spa Central School District’s Families in Transition program serves 100 students and families in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The district contracts with the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County to employ one full-time counselor and one part-time coordinator through funding awarded from the highly competitive McKinney-Vento Grant through the New York State Department of Education.

For more information on how to donate or assist the Families in Transition program, contact Gallagher at 884-7195, ext. 1372, or at mgallagher@bscsd.org.