Children’s Coordinated Services Initiative (CCSI) Brings Holiday Cheer to Children

Pictured: Dawn Mullins, CCSI Coordinator – Putnam County Youth Bureau; Brandon Lillard and Christina McGuigan from CoveCare Center.

Putnam County, NYA community partnership brought Putnam County youth and their families together for a night filled with food, fun and festivities. As members of the Children’s Coordinated Services Initiative (CCSI), CoveCare Center, Green Chimneys Community Based Services, and the Department of Mental Health’s Putnam County Youth Bureau came together on December 14th to host their annual children’s holiday party—a tradition started in 2001 by Dawn Mullins, CCSI Coordinator for the Putnam County Youth Bureau. Close to 150 people–children, parents, and caretakers–gathered at the Carmel Fire Department to celebrate the holiday season.

“It’s an annual event of fun, fellowship and celebration allowing families with common bonds to meet and realize they are not alone. Families tell us it is the highlight of their holiday season and attendance has grown exponentially…we will need an even larger venue next year!”stated Ms. Mullins.

CoveCare Center’s Brandon Lillard, CCSI Team Coordinator, added, “This was my first experience with the CCSI holiday party. It was a great thing to behold. As a provider, it’s amazing to have all the families we encounter throughout the year together for the holidays. This party is a testament to the work that we do here in this community.”

In cooperation with the Toys for Tots Foundation, a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, gifts were distributed to all children in attendance, brightening their holidays and putting smiles on their faces. The holiday craft table was a big hit again this year as children created holiday gifts for friends and family.

CCSI sends thanks to the Carmel Rotary for contributing to the buffet dinner, and to the Brewster Rotary for the delicious desserts.

The CCSI team includes Christina McGuigan, Brandon Lillard, Jennifer Murman, Simone Peart, Connie Chin, Stephanie Gomme, Anna Corbi, Wanda Crowley, Suleiska Richardson, Raleighn Williams and Sandra Sodano from CoveCare Center; Dawn Mullins from the Putnam County Department of Mental Health; and Eva Zegarra, Erin Dommermuth, Patrick Kearns, and Julia Bennett from Green Chimneys.

Diane E. Russo, Chief Executive Officer of CoveCare Center, and Janeen Cunningham, Executive Director of the Putnam County Youth Bureau were also in attendance.