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Help CYA Deliver Holiday Cheer to Children with Cancer
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Help CYA Deliver Holiday Cheer to Children with Cancer

For the fifth straight year, Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) is looking for

Unwrapped gifts can be brought to the CYA office, located next to Cassel’s Sports Complex at 13996 Park Center Road, Herndon, by Saturday, Dec. 2. If no one is in CYA office, donations can be dropped off at Cassel’s. Gift value should be in the $20 - $25 range.

would-be Elves and Santa’s Helpers-in-training to help make the season brighter for children fighting cancer and their families.

CYA is again helping DC Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation provide gifts for the annual Pediatric Oncology Holiday Party.

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it takes a toll on the whole family,” said DC Candlelighters President Meg Lawless Crossett. “Often one parent has to cut back hours at work or quit working altogether to take care of the sick child. At the same time, the family’s medical bills go through the roof.”

“With finances tight, many parents worry about creating a memorable holiday for their family,” Crossett said. “At this party they can forget about cancer for a few hours and celebrate with their children.”

Unwrapped gifts can be brought to the CYA office, located next to Cassel’s Sports Complex at 13996 Park Center Road, Herndon, by Saturday, Dec. 2. If no one is in CYA office, donations can be dropped off at Cassel’s. Gift value should be in the $20 - $25 range.

“Many of the kids who come to this party are immune-compromised, so going to the mall to see Santa really isn’t an option,” said Candlelighters’ Crossett, who is organizing the annual event with Growing Hope, another group supporting families affected by childhood cancer.

Gifts are provided for all of the children in a family, not just the child with cancer. “People don’t always realize how hard it is for brothers and sisters,” Crossett said. “They don’t always know when they’ll see both parents, or their sick brother or sister. Their lives can be very uncertain, and they often take a back seat to the child who is sick.”

CYA will need plenty of “elves” to help wrap gifts at the CYA Office on Saturday, Dec. 2 between noon – 3 p.m. Contact Mark Abbott directly if able to help (MAbbott@ChantillyYouth.org). Learn about the Christmas Gift Wrapping program on the CYA website: www.ChantillyYouth.org.