Each year around the holidays at the Village, we come together to support a local charity to give back to. And this year, like last, we’ve chosen to give back and support Project STAR of the Children’s Institute. Project STAR was created as a way to help potential adopting families recognize their own abilities, strengths and see all the support available to them when considering the adoption of children with special needs. Placing these children had been challenging, and Project STAR has helped give these children a better opportunity to be a part of a permanent family. The STAR in Project STAR stands for Specialized Training for Adoption Readiness and has been very successful at opening the hearts and minds of potential forever families. This project has been a combined effort through The Children’s Institute, Three Rivers Adoption Council, and Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth, and Families.
Project STAR’s services have expanded to include all children and families in Western Pennsylvania, although children with special needs are still a major focus. The organization opened an office in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, with their primary goal of creating a permanent home for children remaining constant. Because of this, Project STAR has won numerous awards. Project STAR is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as an adoption, foster care and private children and youth social service agency. They are also an affiliate member of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) and maintain contracts with local, statewide and out-of-state counties in the areas of placement services and family preservation/reunification services.
November is also National Adoption Awareness month. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping a child in need find a forever home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Project STAR or attend an upcoming informational meeting to find out more.
The Village, along with Casey’s Family Restaurant, and Salon 13, are hosting Christmas on the Beach Saturday, December 8th. This fundraising event will be held at Casey’s Family Restaurant in Shaler with generously donated raffle basket drawings starting at 3pm and family friendly activities from 6pm to 10pm. Activities include, DJ, basket raffles, snow cones, face painting, balloon artist, photo booth, and pictures with Olaf the Snowman. We invite you to come join the fun and help us give back and support Project Star. All donations for the raffle baskets will go towards the program. We ask that you bring an unwrapped gift that will be given to a child in foster care. Gifts for children of all ages are needed, with an increased need for kids ages 13 – 21. If you cannot attend the benefit, we will also be accepting drop off donations at both Village locations, Casey’s Family Restaurant, and Salon 13 now through December 7th. As always, we appreciate your generosity and support!