Christina Bourassa is the founder of the innovative Greater Franklin County fundraiser, Buttons for Babes, providing families with children a resource for funding expenses that are medically-necessary (but outside the scope of health insurance or other community programs) or that will otherwise contribute to the well-being of a child or family.
Just one year ago, Chris sewed a few miscellaneous buttons to an elastic band to make a clever bracelet. Her design has been a huge hit. Chris has marshaled more than 300 volunteer crafters to help in the effort, creating more than 1,500 one-of-a-kind bracelets, raising more than $15,000 in a single year. Originally an effort to help homeless children in the Rumford Group Homes family shelters, the project has had unprecedented success, and now Buttons for Babes is assisting children in other ways: grants have included funeral expenses for an infant, social activities tailored for children with special needs, adaptive equipment, and expense assistance for families traveling for medical care.
Chris believes that every child, especially those experiencing trauma, should have some things to call their own. She helps put together comfort kits for children, always including a cuddly stuffed animal and books. These bags are provided to children through both Safe Voices, the Tri-Valley Area's domestic violence prevention organization, and Rumford Group Homes. Lisa Park Laflin, Executive Director of United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, says "Chris' tireless dedication to making Buttons for Babes
bracelets, and encouraging so many others to do so, has not only directly helped children in need but also empowered so many others to share their creativity, memories, and make a difference."