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Gift exchange receives 86 presents for teens

Bruce Langer | CCPR Student | News | January 11th, 2010

Thanks to the generosity of London's communicators, 86 teens under the care of the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex had gifts under the tree for them to open on Christmas Day.

That was the final tally of gifts donated in an annual gift exchange between the CAS and the London chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. The December 3 gift exchange was organized by Section 1 students of Fanshawe College's corporate communication and public relations program.

The gift exchange was in its 22nd year, and students in the program have been organizing the event for several years as part of a course assignment. The most recent event was held at the Four Points by Sheraton on Wellington Street under the theme “Tis the Season: ‘80s Edition.”

The student organizers had planned for 55 people to attend the luncheon event, with a total of 80 gifts. While 52 people attended the event, the gift total, which included ones dropped off later at the CAS's office, exceeded the goal. The donated gifts ranged from sporting goods to gift certificates to personal care items.

“Congratulations to all and on behalf of all the youth who receive these gifts a giant thank you,” said Pat Finch, manager of communications and development for the CAS.

The ‘80s theme was represented by some students wearing period apparel, ‘80s tunes blaring from a boom box, trivia questions on place cards and the keynote speaker, Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of the CAS, speaking on the changes the agency has seen in the last 20 years.

Fitzgerald told the luncheon that the agency's image has changed from feared “baby snatchers” to one of an organization focused on helping families in need.

“We need to communicate what we do and seek support from the community,” Fitzgerald said.

Part of that program involves the “I'm Your Children's Aid Society” campaign which focuses on putting faces on the “graduates” of CAS care. This is aimed at promoting the success former CAS clients have experienced in adulthood.
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