Dear NET Staff,

It's hard to believe that 2015 is already coming to a close! We've made great strides over the past year thanks to you. At this holiday time, I want to pause to recognize and thank each of you for your hard work and dedication all year long. You are the reason that NET continues to be an outstanding organization providing superior customer service and exceptional care of our clients. I am grateful to work with each of you.

There are many exciting opportunities for NET coming in 2016 which I look forward to sharing with you soon. In the meantime, thank you again. I wish you and your family a safe and joyous New Year. 

Regan
Regan Kelly
President & CEO

Friends and Businesses Rally to Make Holiday Toy Drive a Success
With a last minute, surprising change in sponsorship for our holiday toy drive this year, NET's vendors, businesses, board members, staff and community partners rallied to make up the difference. New toys for all ages as well as monetary gifts were quickly donated to help make Christmas brighter for many of our families. What an incredible team effort!

A special thanks to  Concrete Cutting Systems who have assembled and donated thousands of bikes to NET over the last 15 years. And this year was no different! Owner Dave Nevrotski and his employees delivered truck loads of new bikes to our State Road office in early December for eventual distribution to families.

NET's new office on State Road housed the donations of bikes and toys before the holidays so staff could shop for and pick up items for their families.
 
In addition, this year we had 29 families adopted.  Our generous business donors provided an estimated $32,000 in gifts, gift cards, toys and general household items to these families. Amazing!
 
A big thanks to Karla Eyre for organizing all of the logistics for shopping, pick ups and deliveries of bikes, toys and adopt-a-family items again this year!

CUA 1 Bench Makes Community Safer & Greener
 
Thanks to a grant from Esperanza, the space just outside the fence at CUA 1's 5th & Cayuga office is a little friendlier and safer for the community. 

Jessica Mercurio, who oversees the youth gardening project at CUA 1, applied for the grant during the summer. "The funds had to be used in a way that make the community greener, cleaner, safer, or brighter. So, installing things like lighting, planters, and plants were encouraged," she shared. "My thought process was that we have this beautiful garden that most people in the community don't have access to unless they are NET clients. Many people would stand on the corner of 5th and Cayuga outside the fence waiting for the bus and have conversations with me about the garden or growing things in general, but I couldn't really invite them into the garden space".

To address the challenge, Jessica used the grant to purchase planters to hang on the outside of the fence to offer a type of "micro-garden" for others to enjoy. She also had a friend design a bench out of wood and old newspaper boxes welded together to provide seating for people in the community who stand or sit on the curb where there is often trash, glass and other hazardous materials. 

Thank you, Jessica and thank you Esperanza for helping us meet this need and being a wonderful community partner!

Eagles' Brent Celek and Acme Markets  Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families
Philadelphia Eagles tight end, Brent Celek, greeted families at his annual Operation Thanksgiving event on November 19th. In partnership with ACME Markets, Brent Celek's Take Flight Foundation provided 200 families with the fixings to create their own holiday feasts. Many CUA families attended while CUA staff volunteered at the event. 


"Operation Thanksgiving is an opportunity to make sure no family goes without a Thanksgiving dinner. This year, my Take Flight Foundation and our partners at ACME provided 200 families with everything they need to prepare their own holiday meal. Although we try to give back through the foundation throughout the year, this is a special time to interact with families and make their lives easier." - Brent Celek

In addition to turkeys, nonperishables and decorative plants, families were able to take home an autographed football. All attendees had the chance to meet Brent Celek and interact with Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders and Swoop.

Brent Celek's Take Flight Foundation's primary focus is to provide seriously ill and physically challenged children throughout Greater Philadelphia with daily support and life-changing experiences. With the mission in mind, Celek's foundation partnered with local hospitals as well as NET to identify and invite families in need to the holiday program.

(Article and photo credit: Sean Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles @ www.brentcelek.org)

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:
Laiza Santos, Communications Coordinator
laiza.santos@net-centers.org | 267.339.0564
2701 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia