AC JosepH Media
VINELAND — For more than 10 years, Bianca’s Kids, an award-winning nonprofit organization based in South Jersey, has been granting wishes to children 18 years and younger who are struggling with physical, emotional, or financial issues.
Since its founding, Bianca’s Kids has granted wishes to more than 30,000 deserving children and families throughout the United States, including Vineland. With that in mind, representatives from the Vineland mayor’s office met with the organization to discuss an effort to reach Vineland High School juniors and seniors who might be in need.
“I want our kids to feel important, I don’t want them to feel pitied, I want them to feel they are so incredibly special that they were chosen by Bianca’s Kids to grant a wish for them,” said Bianca’s Kids Founder and President Debbie Savigliano. “You can see it on their faces; when we help a family that is financially or emotionally struggling, and you do something special for them. It’s the most amazing feeling. We look forward to working with Mayor Fanucci to identify students who could use a helping hand.”
Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci said a student’s dreams and ability to participate in activities shouldn’t be detoured because they can’t afford to participate. More than 70% of Vineland High School students are Hispanic and African American.
“What may be an ordinary request for some individuals can be a first-ever experience for a disadvantaged one,” he said. “Through their work, Bianca’s Kids has made that happen for so many young adults, and for many it has changed the trajectory of their future. So if you are a parent or guardian, grandparent, relative, family friend, or member of the clergy who knows of a VHS junior or senior in need, we encourage you to submit a request.”
Typical wishes which could be granted to VHS students follow. However, these are only ideas, so don’t be afraid to submit your request should the student need something different. Also, if you are not a family member of the wish recipient, you should obtain permission from a parent or guardian of the child before you submit a wish on their behalf. Ideas include:
- Basic needs such as clothing, school supplies, food, and toiletries
- Dorm kits ($500 value) which would provide a needy student going away to college with everything they need for their dorm room (comforter set, lamp, towels, shower shoes, desk items, etc.)
- Bedroom makeovers
- Scholarships for individuals wishing to learn a trade or obtain a certification for gainful employment
- Senior trip fees
- Tutoring fees
- Organized sports fees and/or costs for uniforms, cleats, sneakers, etc.
- Cars (we give away one car a year (used and in good condition). If one of VHS students qualify, then they may be the lucky recipient of a car!
“There’s work we do to feed our families and then there is work we must do to feed our souls, and that’s what this work is,” Savigliano continued. “Once you do it, and you make an individual’s wish come true and you realize the special position you are in to be able to do this, the payoff is incredible.”
“There is no greater gift than the gift of education. Every child deserves the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in order to succeed. I hope this message reaches those in need so they know there is someone there to help them out,” Fanucci concluded.
Wish requests must be submitted through the Bianca’s Kids Vineland wish application. A link to the application can be found on the Home Page of the City of Vineland website at: https://www.vinelandcity.org/biancas-kids-vhs/. The deadline to submit applications is August 10, 2023.
Established in 2010, Bianca’s Kids is a 501(c)3 approved, New Jersey based, nonprofit organization. The group was established by Debbie Savigliano, in memory of her niece Bianca Yodice, who passed away in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 21. It was Bianca’s work and passion for children that inspired her aunt to create a foundation in her name and memory.
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