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'Tis the Season...

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By Patty Hickey, Executive Assistant, Johnson & Johnson, Corporate Communications

For some time now, we've been working closely with The Heart Gallery of New Jersey. This year, the Heart Gallery launched its newest project to focus attention on local children who are in danger of aging out of the foster care system and at risk of losing their last opportunities to become members of loving, stable families. Through this initiative, some of our country's best-known photographers have given their time to photograph these children as part of an effort to help them find homes.

I’m proud to say that because of this initiative, many of these children have since been placed in loving families and an exhibit of some of these photographs are now on display at our Corporate Headquarters until the end of January.

Though it's been a great year, there is more work ahead and as the holiday’s approach I start to reflect on the past year and count my many blessings, but I also think about the many children who remain in the foster care system for which the holiday’s can be bleak. These children face many challenges throughout the year going from foster home to foster home with very little belongings, so for the 4th consecutive year our department has taken on the challenge of obtaining gifts for these kids such as pajamas, hat scarves, gloves, an outfit and a toy to bring some holiday joy into there lives. As a volunteer for The Heart Gallery I am overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of my fellow co-workers and friends. Times can be tough for everyone but if we all took the advice from this wonderful poem by Audrey Hepburn when asked to share her 'beauty tips' she wrote the following:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness,For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people,For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry,For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day,For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

I hope everyone has a joyous holiday season.

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