22 Gifts from Eco-Friendly Businesses in New Jersey

Discover 22 gifts from eco-friendly businesses in New Jersey that are perfect for any occasion. Shop sustainably and support local.  

Are you looking to make your gift-giving more sustainable while supporting local businesses in New Jersey? Look no further! Here’s a curated list of 22 fantastic items from stores across New Jersey that have embraced eco-friendly practices. These shops offer a variety of green gifts that are sure to delight your loved ones and make a positive impact on the environment.

Quick Links to Products:

Fashion Forward

Joggers These women’s joggers are made from a blend of organic cotton and spandex terry. Available in washed black and blush, these joggers offer comfort, stretch, and eco-friendly style. Buy on Sadies in South Orange for $60.

Organic Cotton T-Shirts These soft and stylish unisex t-shirts are made from 100% organic cotton, ensuring comfort without harming the environment. Perfect for casual wear or layering. Buy on SBN Zero Waste in Sparta for $26.

Baby Beanie Hat Even babies love eco-friendly gifts! This machine washable hat is ethically made from organic cotton in Bangladesh and perfect for sensitive skin. Buy on Sustainable Haus Mercantile in Summit for $24.

Poncho Wrap Originating from alpaca in Peru’s Andes, this versatile poncho wrap is super soft and fair trade. One size fits all. Buy on Sustainable Haus in Summit for $74.

Home Essentials

Incense Sticks Experience less smoke and pure fragrance with premium Bamboo incense sticks. Each stick burns for approximately 30 minutes, perfect for your home, office, or special space. Available in a variety of scents. Buy on Culture in Montclair for $5.

Beeswax Candles Made from natural beeswax, these zero-waste tapers and votives are made in the USA. Non-toxic, perfect for a healthy home, and votives come in 50% recycled glass. Buy on Sustainable Haus Mercantile in Summit for $9.

Bamboo Toothbrush Switching to bamboo toothbrushes is a small change with a significant impact. These brushes are biodegradable and come in various colors and styles. Buy on SBN Zero Waste in Sparta for $5.

Solid Dish Soap Cuts grime and grease, gentle on hands with aloe vera. Multipurpose for dishes, laundry stains, label removal, and more. Buy on One Stop Eco Shop in Toms River for $10.

Reusable Produce Bags These eco-friendly mesh produce bags bring a touch of nature to your shopping. Crafted from 100% cotton, they are durable and sustainable, perfect for carrying fruits, vegetables, and other groceries. Set of 3. Buy on Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair for $20.

Swedish Dishcloths Durable and compostable, these 70% wood cellulose and 30% cotton cloths clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces efficiently. Buy on Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair for $7.

Discover how Catholic Charities Of Newark serves Hilltop seniors.

Personal Care

Facial Rounds This set of 20 rounds in mixed tones is made from 100% cotton flannel. Handmade in Eugene, Oregon and perfect for replacing disposable cotton balls. Buy on Good Bottle Refill Shop in Maplewood for $18.

Natural Soap Bars Experience the soothing scent of lavender with South of France’s Lavender Field Bar Soap. Natural ingredients gently cleanse and nourish your skin, leaving it refreshed and delicately scented. Perfect for daily use. Buy on Whole Earth Center from Princeton for $5.

Solid Shampoo Bar Revolutionize your hair care with Dip’s shampoo bar: luxurious lather, color safe, and plant-based. Buy on Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair for $24.

Solid Conditioner Bar Revolutionize your hair care with Dip’s conditioner bar which doubles as a post surf or swim hair detangler & leave-in conditioner. Buy on Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair for $32.

Practical and Useful

Collapsible Dog Bowl Portable and convenient, these silicone bowls come with a carabiner clip for easy attachment. Perfect for walks, hikes, and camping. Buy on One Stop Eco Shop in Toms River for $7.

Refillable Starter Kit Perfect for a sustainable home, this kit includes plant-based home and cleaning products to reduce plastic and toxins. Buy on SBN Zero Waste in Sparta for $55.

Utensil Set Portable silverware in a silicone case. Durable, lightweight, and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Perfect for camping, traveling, or work. Buy on Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair for $15.

Creative Gifts

Gold Necklace Perfect for wearing solo or stacking with charms, this necklace is hypoallergenic, waterproof and made from 18k gold-filled material. Enjoy safe and stylish wear with 100% lead and nickel-free chains. Buy on Goldie in Hoboken for $68.

Vegan Cheesecake New York-style vegan cheesecake is dairy-free and eggless, crafted for an eco-friendly lifestyle. Enjoy the thick, creamy texture and a golden brown crumb bottom. Buy on Vegan Cheesecake in Saddle Brook for $70

Beeswax Food Wraps Ditch the plastic wrap with these reusable beeswax food wraps. Perfect for keeping food fresh and reducing waste. Buy on One Stop Eco Shop in Toms River for $12.

Handcrafted Gifts Shop eco-friendly and local at The Depot in Midland Park, NJ. All purchases go towards Children’s Aid and Family Services. At the Depot, you’ll find unique New Jersey handcrafted gifts, trendy accessories, handmade children’s clothing, and distinctive home decor. Buy local at The Depot in Midland Park, NJ.

The Depot’s impact goes beyond its shelves: Guess how many diapers Children’s Aid and Family Services have distributed across Bergen, Essex, and Passaic counties to date?

Support a Greater Cause

By choosing eco-friendly gifts from local New Jersey businesses, you’re not only giving thoughtful presents but also supporting sustainable practices and your local economy. While shopping for these amazing gifts, consider extending your generosity to those in need. 

You can help support families today by donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. Your contribution will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many.

Happy shopping and giving!

How These Volunteers Have Been Hosting Birthday Celebrations For Special Needs Kids For Two Decades

The National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section marks 20 years of birthday celebrations for every child at Youth Consultation Service’s Holley Campus. 

For the past 20 years, an extraordinary tradition has unfolded at the Youth Consultation Service (YCS) Holley Residential Campus, courtesy of the National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section (NCJW). This group of dedicated volunteers has made it their mission to ensure that every child in the residence celebrates their birthday with a customized cake!

“One of National Council of Jewish Women’s greatest pleasures is to provide birthday cakes for every child on the YCS Holley Campus. We were especially thrilled to give Dominic his very first party for his 13th birthday,” says Elizabeth Halverstam, NCJW–BCS co-president.

Dominic, on the verge of turning 13, longed for a birthday party. Confronted with the realization of his very first birthday celebration, Dominic’s response—a blend of astonishment and delight—speaks volumes about the importance of these gestures.

More about YCS: Spreading Joy & Kindness At YCS’s George Washington Carver School 

The Vital Role of Youth Consultation Services in the Community

The Youth Consultation Service plays a critical role in New Jersey, addressing some of the most challenging situations faced by children and families. Being separated from home, regardless of the reason, is an intensely stressful experience for both children and their families. Recognizing this, YCS provides a compassionate environment where children undergoing such transitions receive comprehensive care. This care includes therapeutic services, social work, psychiatric support, and more, all aimed at treating both the child and, wherever possible, the family unit.

YCS’s offerings are expansive, catering to children, teens, and young adults facing emotional, behavioral, developmental, or intellectual challenges. Their “home away from home” approach ensures each child is given a structured and positive environment that celebrates small successes and fosters progress. Whether it’s through Psychiatric Children’s Homes, Residential Treatment Centers, Intensive Residential Treatment Services, or Specialized Treatment Centers, YCS is dedicated to building on each child’s strengths and ensuring they have the resources to thrive.

How The Greater Newark Holiday Fund Helps Children With Special Needs

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund plays a pivotal role in enhancing the ability of local non-profits to effect meaningful change within the community. By providing additional funding, the Holiday Fund helps bolster the efforts of critical organizations such as YCS, ensuring they can continue their vital work and extend their impact even further.

The significance of these efforts cannot be understated. In the United States, the need for mental health care and support for young people is immense. With over 7.7 million U.S. children diagnosed with a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder, the services provided by organizations like YCS are critical. The Greater Newark Holiday Fund’s support helps ensure that these essential services can reach more children and families, offering them hope and the opportunity for a better future.

In the US, 7.7M+ kids face mental health challenges. Organizations like [tag] are crucial in providing care. By tweeting this, I’m supporting from the Greater Newark Holiday Fund so that more families can access these vital services, paving… Share on X

Join the Effort

The story of Dominic and the countless other children who have found a reason to smile, thanks to the efforts of NCJW and YCS, is a powerful reminder of the impact of collective action. It highlights how, together, we can make a difference in the lives of those in need, fostering a brighter future for all.

By contributing to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, you can play a part in this vital work. Together, we can build a more compassionate and caring community.

Every generous gift from you is a step towards changing lives and strengthening our communities. Together, we can make a difference. Show your support with a donation today.

How Social Wellness Helps Those With Mental Health Diagnoses Recover At Family Connections’ Wellness House

Discover the pivotal role of Wellness House in boosting mental health and social wellness with supportive outpatient care.

July is Social Wellness Month, a time to take note of the importance of social bonds and community strength. Family Connections has been playing a pivotal role in fostering mental health and well-being through its innovative programs for more than 140 years. 

Let’s explore the social wellness impact that one Family Connections program in particular has made—the Wellness House. 

Why do we celebrate Social Wellness Month?

When individuals are socially connected and enjoy stable, supportive relationships, they tend to make healthier choices, leading to improved mental and physical health outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these strong social bonds also enhance their ability to manage difficult periods, stress, anxiety, and depression effectively.

How social bonds and community support help those with mental illness recover

In New Jersey, Family Connections’ Wellness House plays a crucial role in aiding individuals with mental illness to foster social connections and achieve better mental and physical health outcomes. This intensive outpatient treatment initiative offers a supportive space for adults facing severe mental illness and dual diagnoses. Impressively, 82% of participants have reported significant enhancements in their well-being and daily functions, highlighting the program’s effectiveness in providing high-quality mental health care.

Strong social bonds help manage stress & depression. In New Jersey, Family Connections' Wellness House boosts this by providing a supportive space for those battling mental illnesses, where 82% report enhanced well-being. 🌟  Share on X

Supported by the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Wellness House program is designed to meet the complex needs of adults in Essex County. Tailored treatments, including individual and family therapy, psychiatric services, and life-enhancing activities, are delivered with respect and a commitment to promoting independence.

What are the core services and benefits of the Family Connections’ Wellness House?

Participants in the Wellness House program engage in 9 to 12 hours of weekly services aimed at fostering stability, autonomy, and empowerment in their recovery process. Services include:

  • Customized Treatment Plans
  • Comprehensive Therapy Options
  • Therapeutic, Psycho-Educational and Skills Building Groups
  • Co-Occurring Substance Use Treatment
  • Life Enhancement Activities
  • Case Management and Supportive Services

These components are integral to helping individuals achieve a higher quality of life, underpinned by the Wellness and Recovery model. Learn more about the Wellness House by reading this digital brochure.

How do mental health community support programs benefit participants?

The Wellness House by Family Connections not only prioritizes the recovery and independence of its participants but also emphasizes the importance of community support and integration. Its success is reflected in high satisfaction rates and notable symptom improvement among attendees.

In essence, Wellness House exemplifies a commitment to empowering individuals with serious mental health challenges to lead healthier, more independent lives, while also providing invaluable resources and support to their families and communities.

More about Family Connections: Giving Back: An Impactful Family Connections Thanksgiving Initiative

About Family Connections

Family Connections has been a steadfast advocate for countless individuals and families across Northern New Jersey grappling with life’s most daunting challenges, including trauma, mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, and child abuse. 

With a commitment to ensuring that no one has to tackle these issues in isolation, Family Connections offers a comprehensive host of services. These include counseling, prevention, training, family bonding, reunification efforts, and social-emotional skills development, among others. One participant reported:

“What I enjoy most about coming to Family Connections is the support. They make you feel welcomed and not belittled. They build you up, the support is wonderful, the workers are very caring and genuine.”

Serving thousands—including children, teens, parents, veterans, and seniors—Family Connections has been a pivotal force since 1879 in fostering healing and success in education, work, and personal development. By supporting Family Connections, individuals are contributing to a stronger, safer, and healthier New Jersey, reinforcing the belief that communities flourish when there’s a collective investment in mutual well-being.

How to support those with mental illness in New Jersey

Interested in making a difference? Volunteer for one of Family Connections programs and take part in their impactful work around community mental health.

You can also help them by contributing to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, which raises financial support for Family Connections and ten other essential social service agencies in New Jersey. Your generosity can light the road to recovery for countless individuals. 

Your support plays a vital role in empowering those in need. Make your donation at holidayfund.org/give today.

26 Must-Have Gifts For Jersey Beach Lovers

Explore the perfect gifts for Jersey beach lovers. From practical essentials to unique treasures, browse our top picks and get inspired today.

If you have someone in your life who adores the Jersey Shore, finding the perfect beach-themed gift can be a delightful way to make their day special. The Jersey Shore holds a unique charm with its sandy beaches, iconic boardwalks, and vibrant coastal culture. 

Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or just because, a thoughtfully chosen gift can bring the joy and relaxation of the shore right into their hands. From practical items that enhance their beach trips to unique memorabilia that commemorates their favorite spots, there are countless options to suit every personality and preference. Dive into our curated list of gifts that capture the essence of Jersey’s beloved coastline.

Gift List Quick Links:

Practical Beach Essentials

Customized Beach Towels These towels add a personal touch to any beach day. They’re soft, absorbent, and can feature names or fun designs. Buy on Amazon for $20.

Insulated Beach Cooler Keep drinks and snacks cool for hours with this high-quality insulated cooler. It’s a must-have for long beach days. Buy on Target for $30.

Beach Umbrella with Sand Anchor Provide some much-needed shade with this sturdy umbrella that stays put even on windy days. Buy on Amazon for $50.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Enhance the beach experience with your favorite tunes, all while ensuring your speaker is safe from water and sand. Buy on Walmart for $33.

Beach Sun Shelter Get some respite from the sun with this easy-to-set-up beach shelter, perfect for families or groups. Buy on Amazon for $54.

Comfort and Convenience

Eco-Friendly Sunscreen Protect your skin and the environment with this biodegradable sunscreen, perfect for conscientious beachgoers. Buy on Amazon for $16.

Beach Wagon Transport all your beach gear with ease using this durable, collapsible and spacious wagon. Buy on Target for $50.

Portable Beach Chair Relax in style and comfort with this lightweight yet sturdy beach chair. Buy on Amazon for $37.

Beach Picnic Table Make beach picnics more enjoyable with a portable table that can hold your food, drinks, and more. Buy on Walmart for $30.

Local Treasures From New Jersey

New Jersey Handcrafted Gifts Shopping at The Depot supports Children’s Aid and Family Services. Find unique gifts for all budgets, including trendy accessories, handcrafted American-made items, handmade children’s clothing and toys, and distinctive home decor. Buy local at The Depot in Midland Park, NJ. 

Jersey Shore Map Print Celebrate the local beauty with a stylish printable map print of the Jersey Shore, ideal for home decor. Buy on Etsy for $7.

New Jersey Thrifted Items Shopping at The Thrift Shop supports the Nutley Family Service Bureau’s programs. Discover affordable new and like-new clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, and household items in a modern, brightly lit space with helpful volunteers. Shop in-store or on our eBay Store for unique finds.

Related News: Learn how Nutley Family Service Bureau’s Casino Night united the community and raised over $18,000 to aid those in need.

Fun and Entertainment

Beach Reads Book Set Indulge in a good read by the ocean with a set of Emily Henry books perfect for beach lovers. Buy on Amazon for $40.

Wave Necklace Carry a piece of the ocean with you wherever you go with this elegant wave necklace. Buy on Amazon for $9.

Shell Earrings Add a touch of the beach to any outfit with these charming shell earrings. Buy from Target for $15.

Jersey Shore Tumbler Stay hydrated with a tumbler that showcases your love for the Jersey Shore. Buy on Amazon for $38.

Unique and Personalized

Sand-Free Beach Blanket Enjoy the beach without bringing the sand home with this innovative blanket that repels sand. Buy on Walmart for $10.

Beach-Themed Puzzle Spend a relaxing evening indoors with a puzzle featuring beautiful beach scenes. Buy on Amazon for $19.

Personalized Beach Sign Customize a sign with your favorite shore destination to bring a bit of the beach into your home. Buy on Amazon for $20.

Boogie Board Have fun riding the waves with a boogie board that’s perfect for kids and adults alike. Buy on Walmart for $28.

Kite Brighten the sky with a colorful kite that’s easy to assemble and fly. Buy on Target for $8.

From flying colors to flying flags of support: See how a local New Jersey nonprofit brightens the days of LGBTQ+IA youth in our community

Sports and Activities

Snorkel Set Explore underwater worlds with a high-quality snorkel set that’s comfortable and efficient. Buy on Walmart for $20.

Beach Volleyball Set Engage in a friendly game of volleyball with this complete set designed for beach use. Buy on Amazon for $99.

Beach Mat Sit comfortably on the sand with a durable and easy-to-clean beach mat. Buy on Target for $20.

Seashell Collecting Tote Collect and carry beach treasures with a mesh tote bag designed for shell hunting. Buy on Amazon for $6.

Beach-Themed Candle Bring the scent of the beach into your home with a candle that evokes coastal memories. Buy on Amazon for $17.

Support the Greater Newark Holiday Fund

While shopping for the perfect beach gift, consider making a difference in your community. The Greater Newark Holiday Fund has been providing crucial resources to local service agencies since 1937. Your donation can help families in need gain access to critical services

Discover how you can support the Greater Newark Holiday Fund today.

Urban League of Essex County Wins Leadership Award for Workforce Development in Green Economy

Explore the critical role of Urban League of Essex County in workforce development, preparing individuals for future job opportunities within the green economy.

The Urban League of Essex County (ULEC), a champion for Black and historically underrepresented communities in New Jersey, has recently been awarded the 2024 Urban League Movement Champion Award for Leadership in Workforce Development. 

This accolade was given during the inaugural National Urban League Empowerment Summit, held from March 4-6, 2024, marking a significant milestone in their relentless pursuit of social justice.

How the Urban League of Essex County is training more people to work in the green economy

ULEC’s exceptional dedication to Reentry and Clean Energy job training programs has been a highlight of their success. These initiatives have not only provided invaluable skills and opportunities for individuals seeking a second chance, but have also contributed significantly to the economic and environmental well-being of the Essex County region and beyond. 

With the support of partners like PSEG and the New Jersey Department of Corrections, the Urban League of Essex County has set a commendable standard in fostering workforce development that promotes both sustainability and community advancement.

Keep reading: Urban League Empowering The Community Through First Time Homebuyer Workshops

Why are workforce development programs important?

There is a critical need for targeted workforce development programs. With unemployment rates fluctuating and the ongoing transition to greener economies, organizations like ULEC play a pivotal role in bridging the gap by preparing individuals for the jobs of tomorrow. 

According to the U.S. Energy & Employment Jobs Report of the Department of Energy:

“With the President’s goal of an electrical grid run on 100% carbon-free sources by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050, energy jobs are expected to see continued growth in every pocket of America.”

ULEC’s programs not only supports this trend but also ensures that historically marginalized communities are not left behind!

Amid fluctuating unemployment & the shift to #GreenEconomy, ULEC stands out by readying folks for future jobs. DOE reports energy jobs booming, and [tag] is making sure everyone, especially marginalized communities, gets a fair shot. Share on X

What is the mission of the Urban League of Essex County?

The Urban League of Essex County (ULEC), active since 1917, supports African American and disadvantaged residents in Essex County towards achieving socioeconomic equality. ULEC’s programs focus on education, job training, and creating opportunities for self-reliance in today’s economy. It also leads efforts in neighborhood revitalization and civil rights, aiming to dismantle segregation and promote equitable community development. Additionally, ULEC offers seminars and training for adults to enhance economic self-sufficiency, covering job skills, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.

How the Holiday Fund supports the Urban League of Essex County

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund stands in strong alliance with ULEC, providing financial support that empowers ULEC to pursue its noble mission and effect meaningful change within the community—particularly in the area of inclusive workforce development.

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund offers you an opportunity to be part of this transformative journey. United, we can bolster ULEC’s efforts and pave the way for a more inclusive and promising employment landscape across New Jersey.

Your generous contribution will go a long way in changing the lives of Black and historically underrepresented communities. Donate today at holidayfund.org/give.

The Importance Of Social Wellness In Our Lives

July’s Social Wellness Month highlights the importance of strong relationships: how they significantly enhance our health, and even help us live longer!

July is Social Wellness Month, and we’ve got social bonds on our mind. Strong relationships are more than just enjoyable—they’re a critical component of our health and longevity. This month, we’re reminded of the power of a simple coffee chat or a heartfelt phone call in nurturing those connections.

The importance of strong and deep relationships with others

Social wellness is more than how much social activity we take part in—it’s about how strong and meaningful our friendships and relationships are, and how they help keep us healthy. This is backed by extensive research, including findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to them, individuals who maintain strong social relationships have a 50% increased likelihood of living longer than those with weaker or fewer social connections. The strength of our relationships also helps us fend off a variety of health challenges such as heart disease, stroke, dementia, depression, and anxiety.

Social wellness is more than just hanging out, it's about meaningful connections that keep us healthy. 🫶 Studies show that strong social ties can help us battle health challenges like heart disease and depression. Share on X

In addition, research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows having good friends and relationships can affect how long you live, almost as much as smoking does. It’s even more important than exercising or not being overweight.

Social wellness impacts everything about our health, extending beyond the physical to include emotional and mental well-being.

That’s why we’re proud to feature the efforts of Family Connections, a Holiday Fund partner organization in New Jersey that has committed to enhancing the lives of its clients for over a century!

How Family Connections is helping New Jersey folks in need feel more connected to each other

For over 140 years, Family Connections has been at the forefront of promoting social wellness. Their initiatives have helped countless individuals and families strengthen their social ties, improving both mental and physical health across communities.

Family Connections tackles key social issues head-on by fostering a sense of belonging and support. In New Jersey and beyond, their work addresses critical challenges such as chronic disease prevention, mental health improvement, and reducing risks of violent behaviors. By emphasizing social connectivity, they’re making strides toward a healthier society.

“I have met awesome people that are so sweet and respectful to my kids and they don’t treat me or my kids like [just] another case,” shares one beneficiary of Family Connections’ programs. “I feel very comfortable and welcome.”

More about Family Connections: The DREAM Program’s Impact On Domestic Violence Survivors

How the Greater Newark Holiday Fund cultivates social wellness through their support of Family Connections

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund stands as a key supporter of Family Connections. 

Through its dedicated efforts, the Holiday Fund secures essential financial support for 11 social service agencies across New Jersey. These agencies deliver a broad spectrum of services, including eldercare, children’s programs, and support for survivors of abuse. Additionally, they provide critical basics such as food, clothing, and shelter to thousands in need, while also enhancing family well-being through comprehensive mental health services. 

The partnership with the Holiday Fund not only amplifies Family Connections’ capacity to serve but significantly contributes to the overall empowerment and support of countless individuals and families throughout the area.

How to celebrate Social Wellness Month

This Social Wellness Month, consider how you can deepen your connections. Whether it’s inviting a friend for coffee or reaching out with a thoughtful message, every action counts. 

And if you’re looking for a way to make a broader impact, consider supporting Family Connections with a donation to the Holiday Fund. Your contribution could change lives by empowering more people to embrace social wellness.

Join the movement and donate at holidayfund.org/give today.

22 Most Patriotic Gifts for 4th of July

Celebrate Independence Day with these patriotic gifts for the 4th of July. Find the perfect gift to show your all-American spirit.

As the 4th of July approaches, it’s time to celebrate our country’s independence with flair and festivity. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, attending a fireworks show, or spreading patriotism through thoughtful gifts, these patriotic gift ideas will make your celebrations unforgettable. Let’s dive into the 22 most patriotic gifts for the 4th of July!

Products Mentioned:

Sparkle in Red, White, and Blue

American Flag Throw Blanket Cuddle up in this cozy, vibrant throw blanket perfect for those fireworks-watching evenings. It’s soft, stylish, and an excellent addition to any patriotic decor. Buy on Amazon for $20.

USA-Themed BBQ Set Grill in style with this all-American BBQ set. The tools are high-quality and the “We The People” engraved flag makes your cookout extra special. Buy on Etsy for $65.

Patriotic Garden Flag Add a festive touch to your yard with this bright and beautiful garden flag. It’s durable, weather-resistant, and a great way to welcome guests. Buy on Amazon for $7.

Red, White, and Blue Star Lights Light up your 4th of July party with these colorful star lights. They’re perfect for both indoor and outdoor celebrations. Buy on Target for $26.

Star-Spangled Apron Cook up a storm while showing off your patriotic pride with this star-spangled apron. It’s both functional and fashionable. Buy on Amazon for $23.

Party Essentials for a Patriotic Bash

Patriotic Tableware Set This disposable tableware set includes plates, cups, and napkins adorned with American flag designs. It makes cleanup a breeze! Buy on Walmart for $23.

USA Balloon Garland Kit Create an epic, eye-catching decoration with this balloon garland kit. It’s perfect for photo backdrops and party decor. Buy on Amazon for $9.

American Flag Cooler Keep your drinks cold and your spirits high with this American flag cooler. It’s great for picnics, beach outings, and backyard BBQs. Buy on Walmart for $11.

Patriotic Lawn Games Set Bring fun and games to your celebration with this patriotic ladder ball toss. It’s perfect for all ages and ensures hours of entertainment. Buy on Amazon $47.

Here’s an idea: This July 4th, play outside with the kids and see how it improves everyone’s health!

Show Your Spirit with Fashion and Accessories

Flag Print Scarf Add a stylish touch to your outfit with this lightweight, flag-print scarf. It’s versatile and perfect for any patriotic occasion. Buy on Amazon for $11.

USA Sunglasses Protect your eyes while looking cool with these retro, USA-themed sunglasses. They’re a great accessory for parades and outdoor events. Buy on Amazon for $10.

American Flag T-Shirt This classic American flag T-shirt is a must-have for any 4th of July celebration. It’s comfortable, stylish, and shows your patriotic pride. Buy on Amazon for $16.

Patriotic Hair Accessories Complete your festive look with these fun and colorful hair scrunchies. They’re perfect for kids and adults alike. Buy on Amazon for $9.

Red, White, and Blue Nail Polish Set Get ready for the holiday with this patriotic nail polish set. It includes three colors to create festive nail art. Buy on Amazon for $8.

Gifts That Give Back

Flag-Themed Reusable Shopping Bags Show your patriotism while shopping with these eco-friendly, flag-themed reusable bags. They’re durable and great for everyday use. Buy on Walmart for $16.

Patriotic Tote Bag Carry your essentials in style with this embroidered, patriotic tote bag. It’s spacious, sturdy, and perfect for the 4th of July and beyond. Buy on Amazon for $15.

USA Puzzle Enjoy some quiet time with this USA-shaped puzzle. It’s a fun and educational activity for the whole family. Buy on Walmart for $20.

Red, White, and Blue Throw Pillows Add a festive touch to your home with these patriotic throw pillows. They’re perfect for sofas, beds, and outdoor seating. Buy on Amazon for $16.

American Flag Beach Towel Hit the beach in style with this velour terry, American flag towel. It’s soft, absorbent, and perfect for summer fun. Buy on Amazon for $17.

Local Treasures From New Jersey

Buying from New Jersey retailers supports local businesses and strengthens community ties. Celebrate Independence Day and NJ retailers by purchasing these patriotic gifts.

Born in the U.S.A. A definitive study of Bruce Springsteen’s body of work and sustained influence on American culture by author Jim Cullen. Buy on Just Jersey for $30.

Cheese Board with USA Inlay Beautiful pine cheese board with sturdy gold-tone handles that accommodate both cutting and serving. Buy on Just Jersey for $68.

American Stripes iPhone Case From the Classic Cases Collection, a piece from New Jersey-based company Cully + Co. Buy on Culley + Co for $39.

Speaking of the local community: Discover how Newark Day Center is transforming early childhood education in the heart of Newark.

Celebrate by Giving Back

While shopping for these patriotic gifts, consider making a difference in your community. The Greater Newark Holiday Fund supports various local charities and helps those in need during the holidays. 

You can donate or learn more about the Greater Newark Holiday Fund here.

Enjoy celebrating Independence Day with these unique and patriotic gifts. Happy 4th of July!

How MHANJ Is Transforming Mental Health Recovery Through The Power Of Employment

MHANJ’s CCERI promotes employment for individuals in recovery, with a focus on meaningful occupation for mental wellness.

With a comprehensive approach that encompasses advocacy, education, training, and direct services, Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is dedicated to helping individuals grappling with mental illness to navigate their journey towards recovery. Their mission goes beyond assistance—they aim to foster an environment where individuals can live authentically, free from fear or stigma.

What is the Career Connection Employment Resource Institute (CCERI)?

One of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s notable initiatives is the Career Connection Employment Resource Institute (CCERI). Recognizing the critical role of employment in mental health recovery, CCERI is committed to advancing the employment of people in recovery. 

This mission aligns with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Eight Dimensions of Wellness, which underscores the importance of meaningful occupation for everyone, including those recovering from mental illness and/or substance use conditions.

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

How It Works: The Career Connection Employment Resource Institute

The Career Connection Employment Resource Institute provides a suite of evidence-based training and technical assistance for a wide audience, including providers, psychiatric hospitals, individuals in recovery, family members, and employers. A key offering is the Prevocational Training series, endorsed by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). This series aims to bolster vocational skills among staff to better prepare individuals in recovery for the workforce.

Moreover, CCERI’s commitment to accessibility is evident through their collaboration with community organizations, ensuring broad service access at no cost. Their specialized employment experts deliver training on various topics crucial for vocational success, customized to meet the specific needs of their audience. These sessions are conveniently held at the employer’s location or virtually, simplifying participation.

How can I support career training programs in New Jersey?

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund plays a pivotal role in supporting eleven first-in-class organizations in New Jersey like MHANJ. By providing additional resources, the Holiday Fund enhances MHANJ’s capacity to create meaningful change within the community. This partnership exemplifies how collective efforts can amplify the impact of mental health support and awareness initiatives.

By donating to the Holiday Fund, you too can join us in transforming lives through the power of mental health support. Together, we can support MHANJ’s mission and contribute to a brighter, more supportive future for New Jersey.

A generous gift from you could mean a world of change for someone else, and a stronger community for all. Let’s impact lives together with a donation to the Holiday Fund.

25 Cute Home Decor Gifts for the Summer

Are you looking for the perfect home decor gift to brighten someone’s summer? Whether it’s for a housewarming, a birthday, or just because, these 25 cute and stylish home decor items are sure to impress. Let’s dive into a selection of items that will add charm and personality to any home.

Here are our picks for the cutest home decor gifts for the summer:

Quick Links to All Products:

1. Tropical Leaf Throw Pillow Covers ($19)

Add a touch of the tropics to any living room with these vibrant pillow covers. Buy on Amazon.

2. Mason Jar Wall Sconces ($24)

Perfect for adding a rustic touch to any room, these sconces come with LED fairy lights for a cozy ambiance. Buy on Amazon.

3. Succulent Planter Set ($22)

These adorable ceramic planters are perfect for small succulents and add a fresh, green touch to any space. Buy on Amazon.

4. Geometric Gold Table Lamp ($23)

Stylish and functional, this table lamp will elevate any bedside or desk space. Buy on Amazon.

5. Boho Macrame Wall Hanging ($35)

Add some bohemian flair with this handcrafted wall hanging that makes a beautiful statement piece. Buy on Amazon.

6. Vintage-Inspired Wall Clock ($55)

This charming clock adds a nostalgic touch to any kitchen or living room. Buy on Amazon.

7. Ceramic Owl Succulent Pots ($15)

Cute and quirky, these owl pots are perfect for any plant lover. Buy on Amazon.

8. LED String Lights ($20)

Transform any outdoor or indoor space with these versatile string lights. Buy on Amazon.

9. Abstract Art Prints ($13)

Brighten up any wall with these modern and colorful art prints. Buy on Amazon.

10. Coastal Beach Photo Frame ($13)

Capture and display summer memories with this beach-themed frame. Buy on Amazon.

11. Coconut Shell Candle Holder ($28)

Add a tropical vibe to any room with this coconut shell candle holder. Buy on Amazon.

12. Woven Storage Baskets ($20)

Stylish and practical, these baskets are perfect for organizing any space. Buy on Amazon.

13. Hanging Terrarium Kit ($35)

Bring a bit of nature indoors with this elegant hanging terrarium. Buy on Amazon.

14. Turkish Cotton Throw Blanket ($20)

Soft and cozy, this throw blanket is perfect for summer evenings. Buy on Amazon.

15. Marble Coasters ($14)

Protect surfaces in style with these chic marble coasters. Buy on Amazon.

16. Bohemian Beaded Curtain ($55)

Add a whimsical touch to any doorway or window with this beaded curtain. Buy on Amazon.

17. Seagrass Wall Baskets ($31)

These woven wall baskets add texture and storage to any room. Buy on Amazon.

18. Glass Terrarium with Wooden Stand ($20)

Perfect for air plants or small succulents, this terrarium adds a modern touch. Buy on Amazon.

19. Rustic Wood Floating Shelves ($30)

Display decor or store essentials with these stylish floating shelves. Buy on Amazon.

20. Hand-Holding Ceramic Vase ($20)

This unique vase is a beautiful way to display fresh or dried flowers. Buy on Amazon.

21. Decorative Lanterns ($24)

Add a cozy glow to any space with these elegant lanterns. Buy on Amazon.

22. Vintage-Inspired Tapestry ($11)

This tapestry adds a splash of color and personality to any wall. Buy on Amazon.

23. Scented Soy Candles ($12)

Fill any room with a delightful aroma with these natural soy candles. Buy on Amazon.

24. Gold Leaf Wall Art ($20)

Add a touch of elegance with this stunning gold leaf wall art. Buy on Amazon.

25. Decorative Ceramic Bowls ($29)

Perfect for keys, jewelry, or small plants, these bowls are both functional and beautiful. Buy on Amazon.

Give the Gift of Hope

As you shop for these delightful home decor gifts, consider giving the gift of hope to those in need by donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. Your generosity can make a significant difference in the lives of many, providing support and relief to those who need it most.

By the way: You can learn more about the impactful work of the Greater Newark Holiday Fund and how your donations make a difference here.

By incorporating these unique and thoughtful home decor gifts into your shopping list, you’re sure to find something special for everyone this summer. Happy decorating!

Nutley’s Casino Night Raises $18,000 for Community Programs

Nutley’s Casino Night united the community, raising over $18,000 to directly aid over 2,500 in need.

In the heart of northern New Jersey stands an organization that wholeheartedly supports individuals and families navigating the complexities of modern life.

What does the Nutley Family Service Bureau do?

The Nutley Family Services has been at the forefront of providing essential mental health counseling, social services, and community outreach initiatives to individuals and families in New Jersey for more than 100 years. Let’s explore their invaluable contributions and the recent successful fundraising event that will motivate its mission even further.

Strengthening Emotional and Social Well-being

At its core, Nutley Family Services (NFS) is dedicated to the emotional and social well-being of everyone it serves. With a wide array of services ranging from affordable counseling to basic needs assistance and outpatient services, NFS ensures that no individual or family is left behind. Their mission is clear: to offer psychotherapy and support to the broadest population, including those in dire need, thereby fostering a healthier, stronger community.

The Inaugural Casino Night Fundraiser

The power of community was in full display during NFS’s Inaugural Casino Night fundraiser held on March 23, 2024. In addition to being a night of fun and games, the event highlighted the spirit of generosity that thrives within the community. 

Thanks to the overwhelming support from attendees, sponsors, and volunteers, NFS raised over $18,000 in one evening. These funds are earmarked for crucial services such as Mental Health, Food Pantry, and Case Management, directly impacting the lives of more than 2,500 NFS clients.

A special shoutout goes to the Development Committee, including co-chairs Marla Hunter and Rob Frannicola, and all committee members for their dedication and hard work. Their efforts have truly made a significant difference in the lives of many. As one attender said, the event was “The greatest time!” 

Keep reading: Nutley Family Service Bureau’s Commitment To Mental Health Support

The Greater Newark Holiday Fund

Supporting organizations like NFS, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund plays a pivotal role in enhancing the ability of nonprofits to effect meaningful change in the Greater Newark community. By providing additional resources, the fund ensures that organizations can continue to deliver and even expand their vital services. It’s a partnership that exemplifies how collaboration and shared goals can lead to greater impact and positive outcomes for the community.

A Future Bright with Promise

The success of the Inaugural Casino Night and the ongoing support from the community and partners like the Greater Newark Holiday Fund highlight the potential for even greater achievements. 

NFS’s commitment to improving the well-being of individuals and families remains unwavering, and with continued support, the future looks bright.

As we move forward, let us continue to support and amplify the work of organizations like NFS. Donate today to the Holiday Fund.

Together, let’s ensure that every individual and family has the opportunity to thrive. 

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