Monthly Archives: February 2024

Improving Mental Wellness: The Active Role of Mental Health Association in NJ

MHANJ works towards improving mental wellness in New Jersey, including their recent involvement in the NJ Higher Education Mental Health Summit.

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is an organization dedicated to improving mental health and wellness in the state of New Jersey. Through various initiatives, programs, and partnerships, MHANJ strives to make a positive impact on individuals, families, and communities. One recent event that showcased their dedication was their participation in the NJ Higher Education Mental Health Summit at Seton Hall University in January.

The NJ Higher Education Mental Health Summit

The NJ Higher Education Mental Health Summit brought together experts, professionals, and organizations working in the field of mental health to address the specific needs of college students. It provided a platform for sharing knowledge, discussing strategies, and finding solutions to improve mental health support within higher education institutions.

During the summit, one breakout session stood out as particularly important—The Every Mind Project. This initiative, spearheaded by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC), focuses on addressing the mental health needs of community college students. The session emphasized the importance of providing comprehensive mental health training, support, and related components to ensure the well-being of students.

MHANJ’s Role in Coordinating Mental Wellness Support

Representing MHANJ, Robert Kley actively participated in the breakout session, shedding light on the association’s vital role in coordinating mental health training and support through their program. Through their extensive network and expertise, MHANJ plays a key leadership role in ensuring that community college students have access to much-needed mental health resources. Their involvement in The Every Mind Project demonstrates their commitment to improving the lives of individuals in New Jersey.

More about MHANJ: Supporting Mental Health: A Salute to the Mental Health Association in New Jersey

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: Supporting MHANJ’s Mission

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey receives support from various partners who believe in their mission. One such partner is the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, an organization dedicated to assisting local charities in their efforts to uplift the community. By supporting MHANJ, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund recognizes the importance of promoting mental health and well-being in the region.

You Can Join Us in Supporting MHANJ

The work of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey is crucial for the well-being of individuals and communities across the state. By donating to the Holiday Fund, you can directly contribute to the efforts of MHANJ in providing mental health training, support, and resources to those who need it the most. By supporting MHANJ, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund recognizes the importance of promoting mental health and well-being in the region. And together, we can make a difference in the lives of individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

Your generous contribution will go a long way in supporting MHANJ’s vital work. Together, we can make a significant impact. Donate today at

Elder Support: Ensuring Dignity and Independence for Our Seniors

As February nears, we value the elder support given to 184 seniors through initiatives by Jewish Family Services.

As February draws near, we prepare not only to spread love on Valentine’s Day, but also to pay homage to our older community members during National Senior Independence Month. This is a time when we focus on the challenges faced by our elderly community and the importance of supporting their independence.

The Need for Community Support

Independence in senior years is crucial to maintaining dignity, improving quality of life, and encouraging a sense of purpose. However, many seniors struggle with physical health issues and social isolation, making independent living a challenge. That’s where we, as a community, need to be aware of this struggle and do what we can to provide solutions. By providing support, we can help our elders overcome these hurdles and lead dignified, independent lives.

The Role of Jewish Family Services of MetroWest

Making a difference in the lives of the elderly, one house call at a time, is Jewish Family Services of MetroWest New Jersey. During the period from 2020-2021, they served 184 vulnerable seniors through their dedicated House Calls program.

This essential service provides in-home social work services and medical support, ensuring that our elders receive the care they need right at their doorstep. Such programs are instrumental in promoting senior independence, allowing older adults to continue living in familiar environments while receiving the necessary support.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: Supporting Essential Services

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund has been a staunch supporter of Jewish Family Services. By funding essential programs like House Calls, the Holiday Fund ensures that these vital services continue to reach our community’s elderly.

Your Role in Promoting Senior Independence

This February, during National Senior Independence Month, let’s salute the efforts of organizations like Jewish Family Services of MetroWest and the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. But let’s not stop at applause.

You can join us in supporting this vital work! Your donation to the Holiday Fund can help the 11 partner agencies, including Jewish Family Services of MetroWest, continue to make a positive impact on our community’s older adults. Every contribution counts.

Donate today and help us champion the cause of senior independence. Your support can make a significant difference in the lives of our elders, ensuring they enjoy the independence and dignity they deserve.

Unveiling Impact: How Charitable Contributions Are Making Change In New Jersey

Explore the transformative impact of charitable contributions in New Jersey alongside the partners of the Holiday Fund. 

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the landscape of charitable giving in the United States. While approximately half of households are currently engaged in giving, there has been a declining trend of giving among Americans over the past two decades. This begs the question: What factors are contributing to this decline?

Insights from the Lilly School’s Philanthropy Panel Study reveal that in 2000, roughly two-thirds of American households contributed to charitable organizations. However, by 2018, this number had dwindled to just under half, signifying a significant decrease in charitable participation amounting to approximately 20 million Americans.

Despite this decline, it’s important to note that the total amount of charitable donations in the US has continued to grow, exceeding an impressive $480 billion last year. However, a prevalent concern raised by critics revolves around the doubt regarding the actual impact of these donations in positively influencing the lives of those in need.

In this article, we shed light on the impact that is being made by several New Jersey organizations—namely, the partners of the Holiday Fund. We aim to showcase the meaningful and positive influence these organizations have on the residents of New Jersey, assuring donors about the tangible difference their contributions are making.

Dive in as we showcase the positive impact areas that are shaping the lives of individuals and families in need in New Jersey, alongside the organizations driving this impactful work.

11 Ways That Charitable Contributions Are Making Change in NJ

1. Immigrant Legal Services

The work of Catholic Charities in providing legal services to 2,202 immigrants is crucial for ensuring access to justice and support in navigating complex immigration processes. For these individuals and families, this support can mean the difference between securing legal status, reuniting with loved ones, and finding stability in a new country. 

Without legal service assistance for immigrants, many individuals and families would face insurmountable legal barriers, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, separation from their families, and the inability to establish a secure and stable life in their new home.

Free Download: 5 Questions To Ask Before Your Next Donation

2. Juvenile Justice Diversion

The Children’s Aid and Family Services‘ remarkable 98% success rate in diverting children from the juvenile justice system not only impacts the lives of more than 52 families directly but also contributes to breaking the cycle of incarceration and fostering family well-being in the community. 

3. Domestic Violence Survivor Support

Family Connections‘ DREAM program’s success in improving family bonding and communication for 100% of participating families has ripple effects, creating healthier family dynamics and nurturing a more supportive environment for children’s growth and development within the community.

Read more: Raise the Change: How to Cultivate Generosity at Home

4. Mental Health Counseling

The provision of 4,976 mental health individual sessions by the Family Service Bureau signifies a commitment to enhancing mental well-being for those in need, addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress that can significantly impact individuals and their ability to participate fully in their communities. 

Without this kind of support, many individuals struggling with mental health challenges would face heightened isolation, untreated conditions, and barriers to fully engaging in their personal and professional lives. This lack of support could lead to exacerbated mental health issues, reduced quality of life, and a greater strain on community resources.

Explore the transformative impact of charitable giving in New Jersey alongside the partners of the Holiday Fund. Discover how your contributions are making a tangible difference. Read more about it on the Holiday Fund blog. Share on X

5. Sexual Violence Counseling

The 1,399 counseling sessions provided to 131 survivors of sexual violence by the Family Service League demonstrate the organization’s dedication to supporting survivors through trauma-informed care, aiding in their journey toward healing and recovery. This vital support provides a lifeline, offering survivors the opportunity to break free from the cycle of trauma, reclaim their power, and access the resources needed to rebuild their lives with dignity and resilience.

6. Food Assistance

Jewish Family Services‘ distribution of over $50,000 in financial assistance underscores the tangible impact of donations, providing crucial support to those facing financial hardships, and allowing individuals and families to cover essential expenses like rent, utilities, and medical bills, thereby preventing further financial instability. 

7. Mental Health Programs

The Mental Health Association of New Jersey’s assistance to 21,722 participants highlights the vast reach of their programs in addressing mental health challenges, positively impacting the community by promoting mental wellness and resilience.

8. Volunteer Involvement

Nutley Family Service‘s incredible 12,000 volunteer hours contributed by 110 volunteers exemplify the power of community engagement and generosity. These volunteers play a crucial role in providing direct support and resources to community members, showcasing the strength of communal support systems. Donations enable the organization to provide necessary training, resources, and support for volunteers, empowering them to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve. 

9. Job Training

The Urban League of Essex County’s role as a training site for PSE&G’s Clean Energy Program demonstrates how donations can directly support job training programs, preparing up to 2,000 urban residents for employment opportunities, and ultimately contributing to economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods within the community.

Cultivating Generosity: 10 Creative Ways to Raise Kids Who Give That Shapes Their Character

10. Youth & Family Assistance

Youth Consultation Services‘ support to 2,675 children and families emphasizes the transformative impact of charitable contributions on the lives of those served, helping to provide stability, guidance, and essential resources to vulnerable youth and families, ultimately shaping the future of the community in meaningful ways. 

11. Community Awareness

By providing comprehensive infant, toddler, and preschool education, Newark Day Center’s Early Childhood Education program not only nurtures young minds but also supports working families by offering a safe and enriching environment for their children. This early investment in children’s development sets the stage for future academic success, social-emotional well-being, and lifelong learning. 

Cultivate Positive Change With Your Charitable Contributions

The deep link between donor contributions and the tangible, life-changing impact of these organizations’ missions is undeniable. Every agency plays a crucial role in cultivating positive change within the community, and they rely on our support to continue their invaluable work.

Gain insights about donating with confidence when you access the free ebook:

Strengthening Communities With Support Groups: JFS MetroWest NJ

JFS MetroWest NJ is a bridge to support groups, making a difference in the lives of individuals and families.

In the heart of New Jersey, an organization is making a significant difference in the lives of individuals, families, and the community. Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey (JFS) serves as a crucial bridge to various support groups that address a wide range of needs. By providing counseling and support services, they empower individuals and families to overcome challenges and thrive. Let’s dive deeper into the remarkable work of JFS MetroWest NJ and how it is shaping the community.

How JFS Serves NJ: Feeding Hope by Delivering Meals to Those in Need

A Bridge to Support

At JFS MetroWest NJ, the focus is on creating opportunities for growth and healing. One such group is the Alzheimer’s New Jersey Family Support Group, which offers valuable information about additional programs for individuals, families, and caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. This support group equips participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of these conditions.

Another vital support group provided by JFS MetroWest NJ is tailored for parents and caregivers of adult children with disabilities. This group offers a safe space for individuals to connect with others facing similar situations, discuss advocacy strategies, and access resources. By fostering a sense of community and providing support, JFS MetroWest NJ empowers parents and caregivers to navigate the unique challenges they encounter.

But that’s not all—they also host groups for siblings with disabilities, Playgroups with a Purpose, and more. 

The Power of Connection

One of the most remarkable aspects of JFS MetroWest NJ’s support groups is that they are entirely free. This ensures that financial barriers do not hinder individuals and families from accessing the help they need. By removing this obstacle, JFS MetroWest NJ creates an inclusive environment where everyone can participate and benefit from the support provided.

Supporting JFS MetroWest NJ

JFS MetroWest NJ’s meaningful work is further amplified by the support of organizations like the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. As a vital partner, the Holiday Fund recognizes and celebrates the impact of JFS MetroWest NJ in strengthening individuals, families, and the community through their support services and counseling.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund understands the importance of supporting organizations like JFS MetroWest NJ that uplift and empower those in need. By partnering with the Holiday Fund, JFS MetroWest NJ can expand its reach and continue to provide essential resources and support to even more individuals and families facing various challenges.

Join the Cause: Donate Today

You too can join the cause and make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and the community by supporting JFS MetroWest NJ. Your contribution will enable them to continue providing invaluable counseling and support services, as well as expand their reach to serve even more individuals in need.

To make a donation and support the incredible work of JFS MetroWest NJ, visit the Holiday Fund website today. Together, we can strengthen communities and create a brighter future for all.

Feeding Our Elders: A Key Focus During National Senior Independence Month

National Senior Independence Month in February focuses on supporting and feeding our elders.

Every month brings a new opportunity to focus on important causes and groups within our community. This February, as we observe National Senior Independence Month, it’s time to turn our attention to the challenges and triumphs of our senior citizens, including the importance of nourishing our seniors. 

Numerous agencies that are supported by the Holiday Fund are making commendable strides in this domain. One organization deserving special mention is the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark. Their unwavering dedication to eradicating hunger and bolstering the vulnerable within the Newark area is a beacon of inspiration for us all.

Spotlight on Catholic Charities: An Organization Making a Difference

In one year alone, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark (CCAN) distributed an impressive 178,671 pounds of food to 29,779 households. 

But their work goes beyond food distribution. They offer a comprehensive range of social services, aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals and families, regardless of their religious, racial, ethnic, or economic backgrounds.

Supporting Seniors: The Focus of National Senior Independence Month

National Senior Independence Month is a time to celebrate the resilience and strength of our senior community. It’s also a time to recognize the organizations that support senior independence, like Catholic Charities. Their services—from meal delivery to transportation and companionship programs—are crucial in maintaining the dignity and independence of our seniors.

Read more: Celebrating Unity & Music: Catholic Charities Annual Benefit Concert

Greater Newark Holiday Fund: A Pillar of Support

As we honor our seniors this month, let’s also remember the organizations that work tirelessly to support them. A donation to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund is a practical way to contribute to this cause.

Your contribution, regardless of its size, can make a significant impact. It has the power to change lives and create a wave of positive change throughout our community. By donating, you’re not just supporting Catholic Charities; you’re supporting our seniors and making a stand against hunger.

In the spirit of National Senior Independence Month, let’s resolve to be part of this change. 

Donate today, and let’s collectively work towards a community where everyone, including our seniors, can live with dignity and independence.

Family Service League Supporting Survivors At The 2nd Annual Legislative Breakfast

The breakfast focused on supporting survivors of human trafficking and recognizing their challenges.

The 2nd Annual Legislative Breakfast: Addressing Human Trafficking in New Jersey was a success, thanks to the heartfelt support of the community. The event was hosted by the Global Center for Human Trafficking at Montclair State University, and it was expertly organized by Family Service League and their partners. The breakfast brought together a diverse audience consisting of experts, lawmakers, policymakers, professionals, and keynote speaker, New Jersey Attorney General Platkin. Throughout the morning, impactful conversations took place, focusing on addressing the numerous challenges faced by survivors of human trafficking.

A Place of Hope: Family Service League

Family Service League (FSL), a prominent nonprofit organization, has been making a significant difference in the lives of individuals and families in New Jersey for several years. Their commitment to providing support, advocacy, and resources to those affected by various forms of abuse, including human trafficking, has earned them immense respect within the community.

The organization’s mission is clear: to empower survivors and create lasting change through programs and initiatives that address the root causes of trafficking. By offering comprehensive support services, educational resources, and community outreach, FSL aims to break the cycle of exploitation and provide survivors with the tools they need to rebuild their lives.

More about FLS: Driving Change: Family Service League Provides Rides To Survivors

Host: Global Center for Human Trafficking

The success of the 2nd Annual Legislative Breakfast would not have been possible without the generous support of the event host, the Global Center for Human Trafficking at Montclair State University. This esteemed institution has been at the forefront of research, education, and advocacy in the fight against human trafficking. Their dedication to eradicating this heinous crime and their partnership with FSL truly exemplify the spirit of community collaboration.

Join the Cause: Donate to the Holiday Fund

As we reflect on the impactful conversations and inspiring moments from the 2nd Annual Legislative Breakfast, we invite you to join the work of Family Service League and others in making a difference. By donating to their Holiday Fund today, you can contribute to the ongoing efforts to support survivors of human trafficking and create lasting change.

Your donation will enable Family Service League to continue providing essential services, raising awareness, and advocating for policy changes that protect survivors and prevent future exploitation. 

Together, we can make a genuine impact in the lives of those affected by human trafficking and help build a brighter future for our community. Donate to the Holiday Fund today at

Recognizing Senior Independence and the Organizations Making a Difference

In February’s Senior Independence Month, we celebrate our seniors, highlighting a key organization that provided essential services to 667 older adults in 2021.

February is a special month dedicated to our seniors. This is the time when we celebrate Senior Independence Month, focusing on supporting our older adults in their journey towards fulfilling, independent lives. It’s an opportunity for us to appreciate their contributions to our communities and to ensure they receive the essential services they need. 

The Role of Catholic Charities of Newark

One organization making a significant impact is Catholic Charities of Newark. In 2021 alone, they served 667 older adults through 15 different programs. Their dedication to combating challenges faced by our seniors is inspiring and critical. Their work ranges from providing meals and health services to offering emotional support and companionship. They are committed to ensuring that Newark elders can enjoy the dignity and independence they deserve.

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund: A Key Supporter

The efforts of Catholic Charities are greatly supported by the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. This fund channels resources to 11 first-in-class agencies, including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, enabling them to reach more seniors and provide them with crucial services. By donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, you’re directly contributing to these vital efforts.

Join Us in Making a Difference

As we celebrate Senior Independence Month, let’s remember the importance of our role in this endeavor. Whether it’s volunteering your time, donating resources, or spreading awareness about the cause, each one of us can make a difference.

This February, let’s honor our seniors and the organizations that support them. Make a difference today with a donation to the Holiday Fund