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posted: 12/4/2013 11:57 AM

Deerfield school collects holiday gifts for CASA children

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  • The living room of Heidi Sparacino is filled with holiday gifts for abused and neglected children collected by teachers and support staff at the Walden Elementary School. "It's a hoarder's paradise," Sparacino said, "but it also is organized chaos."

      The living room of Heidi Sparacino is filled with holiday gifts for abused and neglected children collected by teachers and support staff at the Walden Elementary School. "It's a hoarder's paradise," Sparacino said, "but it also is organized chaos."
    Courtesy of CASA Lake County

 
Court Appointed Special Advocates submission

The children, their teachers and support staff at the Walden Elementary School, 630 Essex Court in Deerfield, are putting together holiday gifts for some 600 abused and neglected children who have CASA Lake County advocates assigned to them.

Heidi Sparacino said the children or their CASA volunteer will request a gift for the children and the Walden parents, or even their own children, will purchase it. Gifts range from diapers to boots and warm clothing, and sometimes toys.

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Sparacino said this is the fifth year the Walden parents have been doing this project with CASA after an extensive review by parents of what nonprofit organization they wanted to support.

Packages are tagged and bagged in Sparacino's home by Dec. 12 to bring to the CASA office, 700 Forest View Drive, in The Corporate Woods, Vernon Hills. The CASA volunteers will pick up the gifts Dec. 13 and bring them to the foster parents to wrap the gift.

"This program is great so that even the children attending Walden can help while learning about philanthropy and helping others," Sparacino said.

CASA advocates represent the juvenile court after going through 40 hours of training to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the juvenile justice system.

For details about CASA Lake County and an easy way to support the organization, visit www.casalakecounty.com.

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