Breakfast supports residential program for young women

The bake sale will be held from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 17; 1-10 p.m. Dec. 18; and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 19, at AMF Strathmore Lanes, 1061 Route 34, Aberdeen Township.

Collier Youth Services, a nonprofit organization based in Marlboro that provides educational, residential and recreational programs to young people in need, held its second annual “Hearts of Hope” breakfast on Feb. 12 in Ocean Township. The keynote speaker was Marybeth Walz, co-founder of the Hope for Children Foundation.

Proceeds from the event will support Collier’s residential program in two locations: Collier Group Home, Red Bank, and Collier House, Keyport, according to a press release.

The residential program serves teenage girls who cannot live at home because of abuse, neglect and trauma, as well as young women, ages 18-21, who have “aged out” of the foster care system. Essential services include counseling, life skills, mentorship and personal development. Residents attend local high schools and colleges, work and volunteer.

Sister Debbie Drago, executive director of Collier Youth Services, said, “When young women arrive at Collier Group Home and Collier House, their hearts are full of hope. They are hopeful because they have a safe roof over their head and food to eat. They are full of hope to overcome their trauma and live a life free of abuse and neglect. Their hearts are full of hope for a happy, healthy, successful future.”

The Hearts of Hope breakfast helps to raise awareness of the Collier residential program among women in the community, according to the press release.

The mission of Collier Youth Services is to empower at-risk youth to grow toward their potential in an environment that promotes belonging, dignity and hope. The mission is built on a belief in the worth and potential of all individuals and their capacity for change, according to the press release.