WAYNE, NJ – With the second wave of the coronavirus upon us, virtual events instead of actual ones are all the rage.  For non-profits who rely on fundraisers to keep their programs running, creativity is the key to survival and Passaic County CASA is never short on creativity and Wayne never seems short on volunteers who want to help others.

CASA, whose offices are located in Wayne, has held several virtual fundraisers this year.  Right now, they are in the midst of the Thanksgiving virtual 5k run/walk/stroll event that runs from November 21 – November 28 and Wayne residents have taken to the streets of our town to participate and support this incredible group.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.  On their website, advocates are described as “the ‘eyes and ears’ of the court and often acts as the ‘arms and legs’ of an overworked child protective system. From helping siblings find permanent homes together, to helping a child access needed services, to uncovering information that helps reunite a loving family, volunteer advocates make an incredible difference to the lives of abused and neglected children.”

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According to Courtney Como, the Director of Donor and Community Relations for CASA, all money raised during this event will go directly to support the work of advocates who are standing up and speaking up on behalf of more than 400 children in foster care.

It’s important to note that the event does not happen on one day. This will allow more people to participate at their convenience. Coupled with the fact that you can run, walk, stroll, skip, ride, roll or even just pretend in your mind, there aren’t many excuses not to do it.

Editor’s note: I just signed up, because I don’t have any excuses. If you feel inclined to as well, click here.

“While we would all love to come together and cheer each other on at an in-person run/walk event, this just isn't possible this year,” said Como. “Instead, participants are invited to complete the 5k on the streets of their neighborhood, on their favorite trail or even on the treadmill!  They can complete the event on their own or with family and friends...socially distant, of course!”

Participants are also invited to create individual fundraisers, encouraging friends, families and co-workers to support their personal support of CASA. Anyone who raises $50 or more are automatically entered to win a prize basket.

On Sunday, November 22nd CASA board member and Senior General Manager of the Willowbrook Mall, Nancy Barbary, along with Michelle Reccoppa, VP store manager at Macy’s Willowbrook and Susan Nuzzolo, General Manager at Bloomingdales' Willowbrook and their teams led a socially distant, invigorating 3.1-mile walk around the outer roadway of the Willowbrook Mall.  

“The enthusiasm from Team Willowbrook, Team Macys, and Team Bloomingdales on a chilly Sunday morning was contagious,” Como said. “We are thrilled to have their continued partnership in not only raising money but helping to raise awareness of the important work of advocacy on behalf of children in foster care.”

There is still time to register and support this wonderful cause https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/wayne/CASAThanksgivingVirtual5K. Join the more than 110 people who have already made the commitment to support Passaic County CASA by completing a 5K this week.

Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) located in Wayne, NJ recruits, screens, trains, and supervises volunteer advocates from the local community who ensure children in foster care are safe and receiving the services they need. Advocates focus on the best interests of each child and advocate for those interests throughout the legal and child welfare process, making sure the most vulnerable children are not forgotten.