NEW JERSEY - A South Jersey martial arts coach is encouraging people to donate to kids heading into foster care. He hopes to offer them hope and comfort during what can be a scary time.
"So cute,” said the adorable Covone family. They’re bubbling over with excitement.
"This is awesome. Oh my God. This is the best," they said. Aiden Covone and his sister Olivia participated in a "Phanatic about Giving" event put on by their coach Mark Moore. He owns Underground Martial Arts and Fitness Center in Sewell, Gloucester County and because they gave they got a meet and greet with a special guest.
"There he is the Phillie Phanatic,” shouted Coach Moore.
"It's amazing. You never see the Phillie Phanatic up and personal or you see him and goes for like one second," said Aiden. But tonight was more than that.
"(He kissed you?) Like three times," said Olivia.
Coach Mark Moore and his wife Jaime decided to get their students “phanatic” about giving to teach them about community service.
"Instead of just telling them about giving back we want them to actually take action on it and that's the best way to teach character," said Coach Moore.
He challenged them to donate suitcases or personal items for foster children removed from their homes often with just a little bit of stuff in a trash bag. Even with all the excitement of the Phanatic Aiden and Olivia, who brought pillows, get the real meaning of it all.
"It's good to be nice and kind. We have a house and people don't have it so we should be nice and like donate stuff," said Olivia.
"When you have to leave your home because of violence and you just throw everything in a trash bag a suitcase lends a lot of dignity to that and I'm just very overwhelmed right now," she said. Coach Moore calls it kids helping other kids or the dojo that makes a difference," Vice President of the Center for Family Services Judyann McCarthy said.