Snowflakes for Sandy Hook Students Made By Oak Ridge Group
Fight for the Right Group members hoping to offer support and encouragement to those affected by Newtown shooting.
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The Fight for the Right Group, a community centered organization, made up of residents from the Department for Persons with Disabilities in Oak Ridge, joined with the Junior Women's Club of Jefferson Township to create Snowflakes for Sandy at their January meeting. Each person made a unique and special snowflake to honor the children of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The Group is comprised of adults from the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), a Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Paterson. DPD provides assistance to 74 adults living in nine group homes and two supervised apartments throughout northern New Jersey.
“DPD helps advocate for adults with developmental disabilities. The Fight for the Right group helps the community and tells other people that individuals with developmental disabilities can make a difference and have a lot to offer” said Executive Director Scott Milliken.
The Fight for the Right Group was formed in October of 2010. The group is facilitated by the agency’s Behavior Analyst, Doreen Cook-Wottring, and staff members Kelly O’Caiside and Mary Ellen Hokenberg. The group meets monthly to decide upon and execute worthwhile community service projects. Group members give input regarding project ideas and which projects are ultimately chosen.
“The Fight for the Right group is a community service group led by the residents of DPD. Every project we undertake is ultimately chosen by them. The logo and even the name of the group were selected by the people who live in our programs (a contest was held in which resident’s submitted names and created logos)” said Cook-Wottring.
“Our projects and contributions have made a difference in the lives of thousands of other people and animals! There is truly no greater gift than to give back to others. The members of the Fight for the Right Group have taken great pride in the wonderful work they have done,” said group facilitator Cook-Wottring.
The group hopes to expand and plans to invite new members from the community to join. They plan to run future food drives and pet product drives, would like to do more for troops overseas and for people in need nationally and globally.
“The sky’s the limit,” said group member Kaleigh.
In addition to Snowflakes for Sandy, some of the projects that the group has worked on include, planting flowers at a local nursing home; running a pet product drive for a community pet adoption organization; donating 450 lbs. of food to a local food bank; handcrafting, filling and donating Christmas stockings to a local social service agency; participating in the Houston Holocaust Museum’s Butterfly Holocaust Memorial Wall Project and writing letters and cards to our troops overseas for the holidays, amongst other projects.
“The members of Fight for the Right give their time and talents each month to reach out to people in need of a little support and encouragement. The members are hoping that their snowflakes, which will be put in a scrapbook along their good wishes, will put a smile on the children's faces and they will know that the residents of the Department for Persons with Disabilities are thinking of them in their terrible time of sorrow,” said group co-facilitator Mary Ellen Hokenberg.