During the nationwide COVID-19 crisis, every partner agency of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund is still providing services to those in need.
Staff and volunteers have had to adapt to virtual assistance, or gear up for in-person service. These heroes are all over the Greater Newark area. We can join in their efforts when we also become the helpers.
Try these 7 ways you can make a difference from your living room.
1. Listen to inspiring stories
On May 13th, FAMILYConnections is hosting a virtual event called Give Back By Staying Home. You’ll hear stories from clients and staff in the frontlines of this crisis, and Family Connections’ leadership and others about the work being done within the Northern New Jersey community. Registration information can be found on the agency website.
2. Support virtual counseling
During this time of crisis, requests for counseling are on the rise. Your donation to the Holiday Fund supports organizations like Family Service League, Catholic Charities of Newark, and the Family Service Bureau of Newark, covering the cost of an influx of therapy session requests and the accommodation of telehealth sessions. With the ease and availability of video calls, counselors can still assist clients in crises that need services. Contributions help provide free, confidential, 24/7 access counseling, advocacy, victim recovery services, and more.
3. Feed and diaper babies
Supplies for newborns and infants are dangerously low at Children’s Aid and Family Services. The Baby Basics program, which provides free nutritional formula, diapers, wipes and other essentials, is a true lifeline to low-income families, especially during this crisis. Without the program’s help, many families are forced to resort to rationing diapers or changing their babies less frequently, which may lead to rashes, infections and a host of other problems.
When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you are providing critical assistance to these vulnerable families.
4. Provide meal program assistance
Both agencies are directing funds to the efforts in their target community, while NFSB is also recruiting volunteers to help with meal and grocery distribution. Of course masks, gloves and social distancing practices are in place, making it safe for volunteers to process the resources provided. Contact NFSB for information, or find a program in your community that needs your willing spirit.
5. Golf for kids
Youth Consultation Service is hosting a Charity Golf Classic in October 2020 “fore” the kids. When you register to play or sponsor the tournament, you are providing individualized educational, mental health and/or behavioral health programming to thousands of New Jersey families who have children, birth – adulthood, with special needs. Learn more on the YCS website.
6. Sponsor a camper
Newark Day Center provides services for those from infants through adults, and are best known for their Fresh Air Fund, which provides inner-city youth from the Greater Newark area invaluable camping experiences. Kathy Cree, executive director of LifeCamp, says:
“At LifeCamp the children are participating in so many enriching experiences — reading, science/nature/STEM, computers/robotics, arts and crafts, bikes, chess/strategy games, cross country, dance, drama, financial literacy, nutrition, percussion orchestra, phys ed, Project U.S.E., recording studio, values and yoga — the list goes on.”
You can provide this gift to a child today with a donation to the Holiday Fund.
7. Join a virtual support group.
Be a willing participant in a virtual support group, like one hosted by Jewish Family Service of MetroWest. Throughout the week, the agency’s licensed therapists are hosting groups for parents of toddlers, parents of “quarenteenagers,” and others, including a general support group for anyone wanting to share and gain coping tools during this time of crisis. Learn more on the JFS website.
Whether you “volunteer” virtually to help these 10 worthy organizations, or you donate directly to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, your contribution can help front-line agencies continue their missions to serve the community, even in this time of uncertainty and increased demands.