Stirring Up Smiles- A Thank You to our Community for Another Successful Halloween in the Hospitals!
Friends of JJ, a foundation started by The Messana Family of Lincroft, was Stirring Up Smiles for children and families spending their Halloween at local hospitals. Friends of JJ organized a fundraiser and costume drive during the month of October with businesses, organizations and schools. They hosted Halloween parties at Monmouth Medical Center and St. Peter’s University Hospital benefiting hundreds of children. In Addition, boxes of toys and costumes were sent to St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Children’s Specialized Hospital, CentraState Medical and Jersey Shore Medical Center.
Executive Director Brenna Messana states, “I want to thank our community for their continued support of Friends of JJ. Every year our Halloween season gets a bigger and bigger response. This year we are blown away and are so happy to be able to see the smiles of the pediatric patients faces when we present them with costumes, toys and treats.”
Friends of JJ feel their Stirring Up Smiles program is so significant because Halloween is such an enjoyable and memorable day for a child. Messana explains, “The children we encounter are not home for Halloween like their friends and peers. They do not get to celebrate at School, dress up or even trick or treat. Being able to give these children a Halloween experience in the hospital is an unbelievable feeling and the parents of the children could not appreciate it more.”
Friends of JJ will start their 4th Annual Toys of Joy toy drive this November. Keep an eye out for a Toys of Joy collection box in local businesses. Friends of JJ invites you to join their toy drive at your office, school, business or organization. To find out more information please email Brenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.friendsofjj.org.