That’s a Wrap!

How Norwescap Family Success Center Created Festive Seasonal Cheer 

January 6, 2023 – Wrapping up their 9th year of creating joy, Norwescap Traditions Family Success Center (FSC) was able to provide piles of presents to over 200 families, including more than 500 children, primarily from Warren County. These efforts are seconded only by the big guy in the red suit at the North Pole – and FSC did it all without the assistance of elves or reindeer! 

Among the donors were Temporary Housing Services (THS), who adopted 20 families and donated money for holiday meals. Construction Specialties in Lebanon adopted 24 families and donated 24 holiday meals. Pastor John and his congregation at the First Baptist Church in Phillipsburg adopted 20 families. Phillipsburg Alliance Church is a new donor this year; Dr. Michael Sefcik of Mission Chiropractic in Blairstown donated 12 holiday meals. 

Did you know… ???  

Did you know that the Festive Seasonal Cheer program was originally named “Partners In Joy”? Norwescap established this holiday program nearly a decade ago to provide gifts to families in need during the holidays. Our Traditions Family Success Center created a new title to follow the same F.S.C. acronym, and we now call it “Festive Seasonal Cheer”! 

Festive indeed, families from the Phillipsburg area and beyond gleefully arrived to collect their personally selected holiday gifts, all within the safety and stability our neighbors deserve at the Traditions office on South Main Street in Phillipsburg. In our continuing service to enrich the lives of children and their caregivers by helping and empowering all families to succeed, this program always lights up the season brighter than Rudolf’s nose on a snowy night. 

As a young couple arrived to pick up the gifts, the mom exclaimed, “I wasn’t expecting all of this. Thank you so much!”, and the father said, “Thank you so much, now I can buy for my new baby on the way!”. To watch more of the excitement, our video on YouTube provides a great overview:

Norwescap Traditions Family Success Center kicked off the cheer in mid-autumn with 170 applications from families in need initially submitted. 

Many of the parents we serve struggle at this time of year. They want to make the holidays special for their children, but just can’t stretch their funds far enough. The Festive Seasonal Cheer program invites members of our community to extend the spirit of giving to those families so they too can experience the magic of the holidays. 

Latiesha Carter, FSC Director 

Donors started dropping their gifts at the South Main Street location in early November, while others were picked up by Norwescap Traditions Family Success Center, and some arranged delivery directly to the families they sponsored, depending on need. The gifts continued to pour in through late December. 
According to Latiesha Carter, Director of Norwescap Traditions Family Success Center, “This year there were a surprisingly large number of requests for craft items, along with clothing and shoes. The hot-ticket trend for toys appeared to be Fortnite-related items.”     

Most of the families have children five years of age and under. There was a higher than usual need for gifts for teenagers. Carter said, “Family Success Center does their best to find things such as movie gift cards, makeup kits and other gift cards for teens over 14, who are often more challenging to shop for.” 

Donors had the option of choosing a full family to adopt or selecting “Angel Tags,” each representing one gift from a child’s wish list. But as gifts continued to pour in from supporters, a third option was designed to keep up with donations. Unwrapped gifts for all ages and genders were accepted at FSC’s headquarters – which temporarily transformed into a pop-up Gift Shoppe – giving wait-listed families a chance to simply walk in on designated days and give their holiday wish list to a “Personal Shopper,” who then selected gifts to match the family’s needs.

Summing up the sentiment of excitement and gratitude, one father simply exclaimed, “That’s IT!” as he entered the FSC and spied the perfect gift for his child. Another caregiver tearfully shared, “You don’t even know what this did for me. You just saved my life. “ 
Knowing that it’s common for parents and caregivers to be overwhelmed with gratitude yet feel uncomfortable talking about it, Norwescap set up a “Gratitude Box” at the Center, where gift recipients were encouraged to share what the holiday gift program meant to them. Hear some of their messages shared by our team on our Instagram feed here: Norwescap New Jersey (@norwescap) • Instagram post
or on our Facebook page here

All of us at Norwescap and the Traditions Family Success Center are so deeply thankful for each and every person who helped make the holidays merry and bright for our neighbors!

by Dawn Hartfelder – updated 1/23/2023