Note from Rep. Gara: Foster Youth Mentors Needed At Big Brothers/Sisters; Adoptive & Foster Parents Needed Too

I consider it good news when there are ways to help people. Many years ago, when I started working to improve our foster care system, I listened to youth, and learned I had it all wrong. Or partially wrong. One thing they made clear was that foster care isn’t all about, well, just improving the foster care system. It’s about what happens when a youth leaves the system, has no reliable parent, and has no reliable adult to turn to for advice. In prior years statistics have shown high post-foster care homelessness (approx. 35%) and incarceration rates (approx. 20%) and we all want to do better.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Launching Holiday “Laptops 4 Foster Youth” Drive, Saving You $, Holiday Giving & Not Wasting More State $ On Rockets

It’s close to the Holidays. If you’re like me, you don’t want to talk a lot of politics. So let’s talk about:
1. The launch of our 2014 Holiday Laptops for Foster Youth Drive (thanks to you we’ve matched roughly 400 laptops with foster youth so far);
2. A potential last??? chance for you to get State Rebate$ for upgrading the heating and energy efficiency at your homes; and,
3. Holiday donation and volunteer needs if you haven’t figured where to direct your efforts.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Ducking Responsibility: Losing 217 More Education Staff; Police Cuts; and a Volunteer Opportunity

Dear Neighbors,

Sometimes the news reports things as if they just happened out of the blue. With dwindling reporters, it’s hard for the media to connect actions by the Governor and Legislature with what happens months later. Well, let’s talk about that. And let’s talk about that feel-good, but unsustainable spike in drunk driving enforcement you may have read about, and ….opportunities and sobering facts relating to Hunger Action Month.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Bone Marrow Donations: Not For the Super Brave Anymore Because of Stem Cell Progress!

Dear Neighbors,

Difficult times sometimes have a way of improving life for all of us. That’s the case of Dr. Matt Dudley, a very well-liked doctor who for a long time needed a bone marrow transplant to help him fight leukemia. It used to be that people didn’t want to go through a painful procedure to donate marrow to help people like Matt. But now you can be a chicken, I mean, “pain adverse”, and donate.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Holiday Laptop Drive a Success, So We’re Extending It Another 364 Days! And Other Volunteer Opportunities.

I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and all around good holiday season. And I wanted to let you in on some good holiday news (and one more volunteer opportunity you might like).

Here’s what you don’t want to know. I also found out how long it takes to work off a typical Christmas and Holiday dinner, cookie and bowls of pistachio nut diet. That’s what I’d classify as annoying news. So, really, why dwell on it. I’ll just take this one for the team, suffer alone, and keep that information to myself. And… I will be off to the gym after we get this letter out.

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