Local Girl Scouts Team-Up to Benefit Foster Youth

(above) Girl Scouts Natalie Kastin, Maddie Litterio, Olivia Torsone, and Elizabeth McMullen

FUN-draiser for Foster Youth 

Submitted by Isabela Bello-Zap 

May began with good news for foster youth involved in the Union County child welfare system: they have the support of their peers. Four Girl Scouts from Cranford and Elizabeth partnered with local businesses to create a fundraising event in which all proceeds were directed to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County. Girl Scouts Natalie Kastin of troop 40222, Maddie Litterio of troop 40013, Olivia Torsone of troop 40013, and Elizabeth McMullen of troop 40013 hosted a Sunday Funday event on May 1st, 2022 as part of their Silver Award Project to make a difference for youth aging out of the child welfare system in their community.

CASA of UC is all about making a difference in a child’s story. For the older youth involved in the child welfare system, aging out can be extremely challenging as they face transitions in many areas of their lives, whether that be in their education, housing, employment, or others. Any support provided to them by friends, CASA volunteers, or their community is welcome in order to facilitate their successful transition from involvement in the child welfare system to independent living and learning. These four Girl Scouts are great examples of how taking action can directly impact one’s life positively and change the course of their journey. Their Sunday Funday event, full of games, face-painting and fun activities, raised $900 worth of gift cards that will be given to youth aging out of the system.

Looking back, all the Girl Scouts had different reasons for choosing to support CASA of Union County. Kastin notes, “I wanted to support CASA to help with some of the great things they do.” Chiming in, Litterio states “I wanted to support CASA, specifically teens in foster care, so they know there are other teens and peers in Union County that are there to help them.” Similarly, Torsone notes “We selected this project to help teens just like us, so they know they are not alone.”  McMullen states, “As a Girl Scout we should reach out to those in need, especially kids. It’s important to support organizations like CASA to keep them viable.”

We have their example to follow in lending a helping hand to improve the lives of those in our communities. CASA of Union County’s role as the only nonprofit serving as extra eyes and ears for the court inside resource homes, serves to empower and support the 1,468 youth involved in the local child welfare system due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. To learn more about CASA of Union County, secure a seat in an upcoming training class, and for other ways to Change a Child’s Story, contact info@casaofunioncounty.org.

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