CHERRY HILL, N.J. - A local food chain held its annual donation drive to provide gifts to teens living in safe housing programs throughout South Jersey.
In Cherry Hill, Chili's Grill & Bar employees went shopping for brand new hoodies, gift cards, bedding, electronics, and other gifts to help make the season extra bright for hundreds of local teens. Leading up to Friday's shopping spree, donations were accepted at different restaurant locations and employees also donated their own tip money to help raise funds for the restaurant's "Hope for the Holidays" drive which benefits the Center for Family Services.
Many of the youth, particularly the teens living in the organization’s 14 safe houses, will be without their families over the holidays and the separation makes this time of year especially difficult.
"There's really good people out there and almost all of them work for us at Chili's so it's really sweat, very loving, and caring that these guys really want to just give back and you know some people can't give a lot. They put $2 in here and there, but they always donate, and we always reach our goal and so therefore that's the best part for me," said Tracy Alivia, director of training at Chili's Grill & Bar in Cherry Hill.
The Center for Family Services relies on community donations to provide brand new gifts to nearly 2,000 children and teens each holiday season.
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