givingtreePictured (left to right) at Red Bank Regional High School are RBR SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller, Youth Development Specialist Regina Cochrane, and RBR BUC Backer Foundation member Claire Harbeck Izzo, with the many donated gifts for RBR families in need. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Every year, The SOURCE Foundation at Red Bank Regional High School works to make the holidays brighter for its families in need. This year, partnering with the RBR BUC Backers Foundation, The SOURCE was able to quadruple its efforts through the Virtual Giving Tree program. Over $5,000 in gifts was donated within a two-week period that will benefit over 30 families.

“Our clinicians know the needs of our families and we obtain specific information on what our families can use for the holidays,” explained SOURCE director Suzanne Keller. “We would ask for donations among our staff and the school community, by placing the requests on a ‘Giving Tree’ in the school.”

Enter Claire Harbeck Izzo — a BUC Backer member and administrator for the Constant Contact email service — who thought that people might be more inclined to give if the process was simplified online. Through an amazing tool called Sign-Up Genius, Mrs. Izzo created a virtual list of all the specific needs requested by the SOURCE families and linked it to the BUC Backer email list. The slots were quickly and almost completely filled.

“It was a real example of BUC Pride in action,” said Mrs. Izzo. “I was so excited over the school’s amazing sports season, and that excitement was just intensified into the holiday season as I witnessed such generosity.”

The SOURCE Youth Development Specialist Regina Cochrane, who spearheaded the project, reported how RBR families shopped for, wrapped and dropped off the gifts in designated boxes in the school building. Over 70 gift cards were also collected.

As Cochrane commented, “It just made my entire holiday” — to which director Keller added, “It is priceless to know that we all could make a difference in the lives of these young people on Christmas morning.”

The mission of The Source Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is “To remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in the community.”  This is accomplished by offering services free of charge to students and their families including; individual, group and family counseling, preventative medical and dental care, academic support, scholarship opportunities, and recreational and cultural events.