The Incredible Progress of Tyler: A Story of Triumph

Tyler is a 13-year-old boy with autism who had become uncontrollable and was at risk of harming himself and his family.

After being placed in a Youth Consultation Service home, Tyler has made incredible progress. He is now toilet trained, able to speak in short sentences, and was even named student of the month at his school.

By donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, you can make a difference in the lives of children like Tyler!

Original story taken from

Homelessness to Hope: How the Urban League Helped Latisha Coleman

This is how Latisha Coleman overcame a troubled past with the help of the Urban League of Essex County.

After growing up in a household of domestic violence, she became a teenage mother and suffered from low self-esteem after spending years in an abusive relationship. However, with the support of the Urban League, she enrolled in a GED program, received career-readiness training, and secured an apartment for her family. Latisha expressed interest in becoming either a daycare worker or a home health aide because of her desire to help others and her love of children.

Latisha’s success shows that it’s never too late to turn your life around. Support organizations like the Urban League by donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund today!

Original story taken from

From Substance Use Disorder to Full-Time Job: Beth’s Story

Beth sought help from the Mental Health Program at Nutley Family Service Bureau to cope with anxiety and depression while in recovery from substance use disorder.

Her symptoms worsened after a traumatic event involving her partner, and she struggled to network and find a job.

Through counseling and medication adjustment, Beth learned to take a step back and realize her partner’s difficulty was not her fault, reducing her self-blame. She also attended Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, building a support network and learning mindfulness techniques. Beth eventually found a full-time job and gained a more positive outlook on herself and those around her.

Consider donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund to support mental health programs like the ones at the NFSB!

Original story taken from the Nutley Family Services Bureau blog

A Mother’s Dream Comes True: The Fresh Air Fund Sends Two Sisters to Camp

Janet, a mother of three beautiful daughters, wanted to give her children a break from the city and the chance to run and play freely. Her income was meager, but she remembered how much she loved going to camp as a child and wanted her daughters to experience the same thing. Two of her daughters were eligible for camp based on their ages and were eager to attend.

Thanks to the Fresh Air Fund, Niyea and Naziah were able to attend day camp for two weeks. They loved interacting with other campers and participating in various activities, including bike riding, swimming, and music. The bus ride to the camp site was also a highlight, as they got to see different farm animals and a pond along the way. They often included their younger sister in their stories about camp.

For Janet, it was a relief to see her daughters having fun and being able to enjoy nature without worrying about their surroundings. Thanks to the Fresh Air Fund, they had the chance to create lifetime memories.

You can help support children and families by contributing to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund today!

Original story taken from

Providing Peace of Mind: How the MHANJ Helped a Family Cope with Mental Illness

Matthew, now in his mid-50s, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at 18 and currently lives with his elderly mother, Dorothy, in their family home. As Dorothy’s eyesight and mobility have diminished, Matthew helps with basic chores such as simple meals and washing dishes. However, Dorothy increasingly worried about Matthew’s ability to manage the house alone and afford its upkeep if she needed institutional care or passed away. With no other relatives nearby, there was no plan in place to provide for Matthew’s future.

The program director of the Intensive Family Support Services at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey offered solutions to Dorothy and Matthew, including setting up a special needs trust to protect Matthew’s SSI and Medicaid benefits and providing resources for elder care attorneys, case management, and alternate housing. Matthew’s case manager visits the home weekly.

Dorothy was also given resources to support her own well-being. Due to her age and poor eyesight, the worker made herself available to assist with applications and transportation to appointments.

With the program’s ongoing support, Dorothy has peace of mind, and Matthew has a plan in place for his future.

Thanks to generous donations to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, the Intensive Family Support Services Program at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey can expand ongoing support, education, and advocacy for individuals and families coping with mental illness.

Original story taken from

How the Jewish Family Service Helped A Mom of Three Reclaim Her Life

Meet F.T. – a mother of three who endured threats and abuse from her husband for over two decades.

She turned to the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest for help to leave her husband and attended weekly individual and group counseling. With their support, F.T. and her children were able to move to a safer location with better schools and obtain a final restraining order. The Safety Net Fund provided financial support for basic supplies for their new home. With continued emotional support, F.T. is now a strong parent, and her children are thriving.

Support others like F.T. by making a donation to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund!

Original story taken from

The Essential Role of an Advocate in Healing After Sexual Assault

Brad’s story is a powerful one — of being sexually assaulted during his first semester at college, far away from home and feeling alone and ashamed.

The Family Service League Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate provided much-needed support and encouragement, informing Brad that he was not to blame for the assault and there were many resources available. These included forensic evidence collection and reporting to local police with the aid of the advocate, as well as clothing, water, food, and toiletries to help restore Brad’s dignity.

Finally, Brad learned of his rights and resources at school that helped him feel safe so he could continue his education. 

Without advocates like these, victims often feel isolated and unaware of the services available to them. The care and support of an advocate is essential for any survivor’s healing process.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you are helping victims like Brad feel safe and supported. Every service agency we partner with is committed to making futures brighter in New Jersey.

Will you join us? Learn more when you visit

Original story taken from

Finding Hope and Strength in Counseling: Sean’s Story

Introducing Sean, a man who is committed to his recovery and found critical assistance through one of our partner agencies, the Family Service Bureau of Newark (FSB). Here’s a glimpse into his story.

From experimenting with marijuana in his teens to using heroin in his late 20s, Sean was eventually arrested for defending himself against an abusive partner. 

The Family Service Bureau of Newark provided him with the support he needed to transition back into society without reverting to drugs. With their help, Sean has found stable housing and employment and works to serve his community.

Despite the counseling stigma within the African American community, Sean found strength and growth through it, developing healthier relationships and understanding what a healthy relationship looks like. 

Today, Sean remains positive and committed to recovery, learning how attending counseling can be beneficial as support against relapse.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you help organizations like FSB provide support and services to children in New Jersey.

Will you donate today? Visit and select ‘donate’ (or ‘link in bio 👉 @holidayfundnj’)

Every contribution makes an impact!

Original story taken from

Through Family Connections, Kristine Rediscovers Her Strength Amidst Trauma

Shortly after moving to New Jersey, Kristine experienced a huge change in her smart, handsome husband. He became physically and verbally abusive and it didn’t pass as she had hoped. When they later had three children together, things only got worse. 

As the abuse continued, and Kristine noticed similar behaviors in her 3-year-old son, she also discovered infidelity and other offenses. Finally, she decided to leave with her children. 

Despite the relief of being free of him, she had to find help for her three children who had endured severe trauma at the hands of their father. Not to mention, she had a long road ahead of her as she worked through her trauma and inevitable court battle.

Thankfully, she didn’t need to figure it all out on her own. Kristine and her kids started individual and family counseling at Family Connections’ Domestic Violence program, Dreams. Through art therapy and counseling, they worked to improve her children’s self-esteem, assisted them in processing their emotions, and helped them in realizing that they weren’t at fault for their violent father’s actions.

Three of Kristine’s kids are still receiving and benefiting from outpatient counseling through Family Connections even though their time at Dreams is over. 

This New Jersey mother is grateful to have a happy ending to her story thanks to the assistance of Family Connections. We are proud to partner with Family Connections and play a role in supporting families like Kristine’s.

Original story taken from

Success Story: Mia’s Quick Recovery Thanks to Children’s Aid and Family Services

It’s very common for children under the care of Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS) to have already experienced 6-10 placements. As a result, there’s little to no medical history recorded, and few ever see the same doctor twice. 

So, when chronically ill Mia needed medical care, we are thankful for the CAFS Medical Services and Advocacy Center, whose staff have trusting relationships with the children and make sure kids still have access to high-quality medical attention. 

When 12-year-old Mia had been experiencing low-grade fevers and other symptoms while living in one of the agency’s foster care group homes, blood tests showed she may have had sickle cell anemia. Thankfully, an attentive endocrinologist ran further tests which revealed that it was actually just a viral infection, avoiding a much more serious diagnosis. With rest and fluids, Mia made a full recovery soon after.

Thanks to the Children’s Aid and Family Services’ Medical Services and Advocacy Center, deserving kids have access to comprehensive healthcare, allowing them to receive timely diagnoses and treatments that can improve their quality of life.

When you donate to the Holiday Fund, you help organizations like CAFS provide support and services to children in New Jersey.

Will you donate today? Visit and select ‘donate’ (or ‘link in bio 👉 @holidayfundnj’)

Every contribution makes an impact!

Original story taken from

1 2 3 17