Happy Cases offer Carrier Clinic teens comfort and hope

In February, an organization of Sussex County teens, known as Happy Cases, visited Carrier Clinic® and brought with them 90 care packages for the teen residents of Carrier Clinic’s East Mountain Youth Lodge. The group raised money and then tie-dyed pillowcases and filled them with fuzzy socks, stuffed animals, coloring books, colored pencils, stress balls, blankets, and more. Both the staff and residents were elated and appreciative of the generous donations.

When the students visited Carrier Clinic, we asked them to tell us more about this project. And here is what Kevin, one of the members of Happy Cases, had to say:

When we first came up with the idea to work with a mental health facility for teens, we had a hard time finding a place to work with. We searched for days trying to find a place who would accept donations and work with us on our project. A friend of Maddie’s had recommended Carrier Clinic to us. As soon as we were given that suggestion, we checked out the Carrier Clinic website and we felt like we finally found the perfect place to do our project with. The experience from beginning to end was extraordinary.

We raised over $3,000 total for the care packages. Our main source of fundraising was our GoFundMe page, which raised over $1,000 in just one day thanks to the unbelievable support from the community. From there, we raised another $2,000 in just a week. Our other source of fundraising was through our “Happy Cases” bracelets. Classmates, teachers, and people all around the community bought bracelets in support of our project.

Finally, the idea for gifts really just hit us one night. We weren’t exactly sure what we wanted to do to help these teens. Then we read about how the patients come in with nothing and we found that to be heartbreaking. We came up with the idea of creating tie-dyed pillowcases and filling them with comforting items such as stuffed animals, blankets, toys, coloring supplies, and writing journals. We hoped that these gifts would give the patients a feeling of safety and comfort during their stay.

When we dropped off the items for the residents, we were given a tour of Carrier Clinic, which was really eye-opening and insightful for all of us. Being able to see the beautiful campus while learning about patients daily lives and the time and compassion put into the patients’ care was truly amazing.

When we first came up with the idea, we had no clue that it would go as successfully as it did. The countless hours of preparation and searching for the perfect items for the teens really paid off at the end when we dropped off all of the cases. Even though we all knew each other before we created Happy Cases, we bonded even more and became a family. It was an experience none of us will ever forget.

Again, we wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of the Carrier Clinic and we are so grateful for the support given to us by everyone involved.

Brendon Read, Maddie Arcuri, Kevin Moran, Delaney Zugelder, and Canavan Storms
Back row (left to right): Brendon Read, Canavan Storms, Kevin Moran Front row (left to right): Maddie Arcuri and Delaney Zugelder