Twins donate to Ginnie's House

YOUTH. This year as the Pavelko twins turned six, instead of receiving toys and games, their party became an opportunity to donate to a nonprofit organization.

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  • Justin and Gia Pavelko are 6-year-olds who recently celebrated a birthday by donating funds to Ginnie's House in Newton, rather than accepting gifts. Ginnie's House is a children's advocacy center. The twins' mother, Jennifer (at left), hopes other parents will consider encouraging children to turn their birthdays into fundraisers for nonprofits. (Photo provided)

  • Justin and Gia Pavelko.

Justin and Gia Pavelko turned 6 years old this week but instead of the many presents they usually receive from friends and family, the Pavelko family asked relatives and friends to donate funds to Ginnie's House. Their mother, Jennifer, noted that the $2,000 donation will be used to send 10 children to camp this summer.

"Our friends and family were very generous," Jennifer said. "How it came about is we are very blessed with large family and friends and we end up having a large party. We do it for the kids, but each year we load up a truck or two of presents."

They receive so many gifts, in fact, that the family ends up donating toys to charities. This time Jennifer was hoping to make this year's donation an even more tangible lesson for her children.

"I said rather than regifting Paw Patrols, we'd donate," she said. "At first we thought St. Jude's, but realized maybe we could bring the check to Ginnie's House to make it more tangible, less theory. So I got one of those over-sized checks like with Publisher's Clearing House."

The check was presented last week to Ginnie's House, which is located at 4 High Street in Newton.

The family hopes to motivate others to consider children's birthday parties as a resource for nonprofit organizations, as part of a life lesson that children can be excited about.

The Ginnie's House web site states that Ginnie's House is a "nonprofit corporation" known as the Sussex County Children's Advocacy Center (CAC). It is dedicated to raising awareness of child abuse and aims to provide a comfortable, safe, friendly environment for children who have experienced abuse. Ginnie's House Executive Director Kristi Young said that the organization is honored to accept the check from the twins. She also notes that Ginnie’s House is the only children’s advocacy center (CAC) serving the children of Sussex County.

"A CAC is a child-friendly facility where victims of criminal child abuse, as well as their non-offending caregivers, can receive coordinated and comprehensive services from all of the agencies involved in child protection -- under one roof," Young stated. "Our agency is a collaboration of child welfare professionals from DCP&P, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, local law enforcement and experts in the medical and mental health field, who work together to reduce the re-victimization that often comes with disclosing and reporting abuse. We provide trauma-focused therapy by 2 licensed clinicians at Ginnie’s House. We are so honored to accept this donation from Justin and Gia and were touched that they wanted to do this for children they don’t even know." A

Jennifer said that with help like that of the Pavelko family, they're able Ginnie's House children "a small reprieve from some heavy burdens and let them just be kids for a little while."

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