Bring Hope to a Child’s Life Today

When there is discord at home, it is the children who suffer the most.

Without a professional to help them process their distress, kids can grow up expressing those negative feelings in unhealthy ways.

Our partners help bring hope to a child’s life by donating to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, which partners with some of New Jersey’s best service providers for child mental health and counseling.

Learn more at holidayfund.org.

How Greater Newark Holiday Fund Help Eradicate Poverty in New Jersey

Today, you can stream thousands of television shows for free or connect with someone across the globe at the touch of a fingertip, yet there are many in your community who still don’t have access to affordable food, housing, or health and wellness in your own neighborhood.

Poverty is an ongoing reality for several Americans. That’s why we’ve partnered with 10 of the best social service agencies that increase access to basic human needs for families in Northern New Jersey.

Learn more: holidayfund.org

Nutley Family Services Bureau

If you see a school-aged child walking around Northern New Jersey with an overflowing backpack, it might be the work of Nutley Family Services Bureau (NFSB). 

Every year, NFSB joyfully fills backpacks with supplies needed to support students for the entire school year. This is just one example of the many ways NFSB is helping their community, which includes offering food assistance and providing mental health support.

FOUNDED BY CIVIC-MINDED WOMEN

Nutley’s mission is to strengthen the emotional and social well-being of individuals and families through affordable mental health counseling and social service programs, and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing since 1913.

Founded by a group of civic-minded women, Nutley has been a steadfast force for families for well over a hundred years.

The founders recognized the need for improved social services “… to promote and improve morally and materially, the condition of the poor in the town of Nutley.”

The nature of the agency’s work varied to meet the diverse challenges facing local individuals in the first half of the twentieth century, including the Great Depression, World Wars I and II. 

Make ONE DONATION to the Holiday Fund and support 10 life-changing organizations in New Jersey.

CLIENTS ARE THANKFUL

Here’s what one client said about her experience receiving mental health services through NFSB:

I have been coming here for the past three years,” the client explained. “While working with my clinician, I have been able to overcome certain issues and have become a better person. 

Without my clinician’s help I would have never gotten to this point in my life. If anyone is looking for a place to talk, come to NFSB.

Healing is found when people in need have a safe, accessible place to receive the help they need. For many in Northern New Jersey, that place is Nutley. 

2020 ACHIEVEMENTS

During the challenging circumstances of 2020, Nutley expanded their diverse essential services to the community. For example, Nutley:

  • Met increased demand for the Food Pantry services by providing supplemental food security for over 700 individuals
  • supported the Nutley Public Schools by helping to distribute over 16,000 meals and facilitating therapeutic groups to improve children’s mental health
  • Provided 5,000 remote tele-therapy counseling sessions to over 450 clients through their Psychotherapy Center.

VOLUNTEER ARMY

Did you know that 110 volunteers provide weekly support at Nutley? You can make that 111 if you’d consider donating a portion of your time to make a contribution to the community.

Simply submit a Volunteer Application Form found on the Nutley website. 

NUTLEY’S REAL-LIFE IMPACT

When NFSB first started seeing the Smith family, John was 9 years old. His grandparents made the decision to become John’s caregiver because his mother had struggled with alcohol use disorder for most of her adult life.

There were several issues that the grandparents had to work through as they adjusted to their decision,” said Joe Armentano, MSW, LCSW, and Coordinator of Education and Staff Development at NFSB. “The grandmother had health issues, the grandfather had to continue working in his 70s to make it work financially, and they were both stressed and frustrated about their daughter’s addiction.

John had been seemingly scapegoated for his mother’s struggles and was over-medicated by a psychiatrist outside of NFSB. He was dealing with his own social issues and never knew his biological father.

The grandmother was well-intentioned but would often hover over John,” Joe said. “She was over-involved and created somewhat of an adversarial relationship with John’s school. In family therapy, we worked to develop a healthier parenting system that worked for everyone while collaborating closely with John’s school counselor.

Because John had behavioral issues and social anxieties that were causing him to get in trouble in school, virtual learning during the pandemic was beneficial. This reduced the amount of negative attention and allowed John to work through his own challenges.

When substance use disorders impact a family, communication is often unhealthy,” Joe said. “John is such a great kid with a big heart and strong moral compass. We worked with him to express his feelings and connected him with family activities and volunteering opportunities through a local church group.

Family therapy through NFSB, along with ongoing communication with doctors and the school counselor, resulted in tremendous improvement for John. When he stopped taking medication that had been previously prescribed, his demeanor and personality changed significantly.

The grandparents, who continued to devote their love and energy to John, received counseling as well. They learned to trust and work with the school for John’s benefit and gained a better understanding of how to fill the role of parents in a more productive way.

Self-care is extremely important,” Joe said. “As caregivers, grandparents can be so focused on the well-being of their grandchildren that they neglect themselves. Because of the stigma and fear that often surround mental health, many people who are struggling don’t ask for help. I’m glad they had the courage to reach out to us for support.

This is just one of the many stories of impact reported by NFSB. 

The family has gone through its share of growing pains during this period of change, but they’re in a much better place today. Family therapy provided the foundation for healing, progress, and growth as the grandparents adjusted to their role as primary caregivers and John worked through his difficulties.

Learn more about Nutely and receive periodic updates when you visit the organization’s website at NutleyFamily.org.

Meet Phyllis

Just two years ago, Phyllis was underemployed, had defaulted on her student loans and could barely support herself.

When a sudden family crisis left her nearly homeless, she enrolled in the Urban League’s Financial Opportunity Center to turn her life around.

Today, she is employed full-time and earns over 25% more than she used to. She continues to pay off her debts, build assets, and save more each day.

More power to you, Phyllis!

Family Service League

Advocates from Family Service League (FSL) meet victims right where they’re at — quite literally. 

Whether it’s meeting them at the hospital after an assault and providing critical resources, or providing assistance to homeless families with a safe environment and the support needed to secure permanent housing, FSL wants to serve. 

THE WAYS FAMILY SERVICE LEAGUE HELPS

Originally founded in Huntington in 1926 as a social service agency, FSL helps individuals, children, and families to mobilize their strengths and improve the quality of their lives at home, in the workplace, and in the community.

FSL’s assistance improves relationships through counseling, prevention outreach, and education.

More than 50,000 Long Islanders’ lives are improved daily as a result of the 60 programs at 20 locations offered by FSL. Examples include:

  • Addiction services
  • Children’s Services
  • Family and Community Support
  • Housing and Homeless Services
  • Mental Health and Integrated Care
  • Senior and Caregiver Services
  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling
  • Training and Employment

In a recent newsletter, Karen Boorshtein, LCSW President & CEO of FSL wrote:

The impact that our ‘FSL Family’ has had in the face of this crisis is inspiring. Working together, FSL continues to make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable, like 11-year-old Danny, who is now receiving weekly counseling care for depression, which was heightened by the seclusion of COVID-19, or Christine and her infant, struggling with poverty. She received prenatal care, links to tangible resources, and counseling to overcome the trauma she experienced due to years of neglect during her own childhood.

Today, FSL continues to evolve and create innovative care in all areas to best meet the changings needs of the community. 

Make ONE DONATION to the Holiday Fund and support 10 life-changing organizations in New Jersey.

IMPACT THROUGH ALLIANCES

Developing alliances has become a hallmark of FSL’s leadership and vision in its goal to build networks of care for those in need. For example:

  • Management of a Suffolk county homeless shelter that provides housing for 400 individuals every day
  • Development of integrated health care, which makes it possible for clients with complex behavioral health difficulties to receive mental health and substance abuse counseling and primary care services in one location
  • Collaboration with local school districts as the largest community-based provider of universal pre-kindergarten in Suffolk county
  • Partnership with Southside Hospital Northwell Health for a new health and wellness care facility being constructed on the South Shore.

FSL CELEBRATES VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are the heart of Family Service League: Without their commitment to the mission and their passion for helping those who need it most, FSL wouldn’t be able to touch so many lives. 

Opportunities include:

  • Administrative support 
  • Transporting food
  • Transporting toy drive goods 
  • Special event assistance
  • Tutoring

FSL also provides training for volunteers who want to advocate for the seniors in NJ communities. 

Learn more about joining the FSL family of more than 400 volunteers.

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FAMILY SERVICE LEAGUE COMES ALONGSIDE VICTIMS

When 32-year-old Michelle sought medical treatment at a hospital after an assault, FSL’s Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate was called through the 24-hour emergency hotline.`

With the assistance of the advocate, Michelle made next-step decisions and received needed help as she walked through the steps of pressing charges. The FSL advocate was there to hold her hand, wipe her tears, supply her with fresh garments and other necessities, and provide the victim with the gift of her presence. 

Working as advocates and supporters of people in need, FSL has been restoring hope and rebuilding lives for 95 years with the help of the caring people in the Long Island community.

Whether it be seniors seeking help, the homeless seeking shelter, or those suffering from addiction, or facing the challenges of mental illness, Family Service League wants to offer help when it’s needed most.

Learn more about the FSL and the incredible work being done for Long Islanders when you visit the Family Service League website

This is Angela’s Story

One in 25 Americans suffer from mental health disorders, and half of them also struggle with substance abuse.

The road to recovery is a constant battle against oneself. It is far from easy.

But Angela overcame all odds, all so that she could be with her children again. Her counselors at Family Connections are extremely proud of her— for the dedication she showed towards her family and her health.

We wish Angela and her kids all the best!

Meet Angela

Angela was separated from her 4 children because of the mental health and substance abuse problems she suffered. She quickly went to Family Connections for help. There, she received treatment, received mental health support, and secured housing. Angela took every program seriously— she was determined to heal herself and be reunited with her children.

Today, Angela is reunited with her children after 2 and a half years of treatment. For the first time in a while, she is hopeful and optimistic about their future together.

One in 25 Americans suffer from mental health disorders, and half of them also struggle with substance abuse. The road to recovery is a constant battle against oneself. It is far from easy. But Angela fought to overcome these odds so that she could be with her children again. Her counselors at Family Connections are a key part of her story. They couldn’t be more proud of her for the dedication she showed towards her family and her health.

We wish Angela and her children all the best!

Catholic Charities

Yvette experienced homelessness for two years before securing a bed at St. Lucy’s Emergency Shelter in Jersey City, a facility of Chatholic Charities. 

What does Yvette think about sleeping in a shelter with dozens of strangers?

“I love it. I like having a lot of other people around… it’s comforting to know that other people are around, and looking out for you.”

St. Lucy’s provides three meals a day and clothing, along with enjoyable activities. The shelter works with different social agencies to organize different activities that make life easier at times. 

The shelter is just one of the many resources the organization provides for members of the community. 

Programs

Catholic Charities serves an enormous number of people in the Greater Newark Area. Here’s how:

  • Counseling and support services for at-risk youth and their families
  • Psychological and psychiatric help for those with mental illness
  • Job training for those who are cognitively disabled
  • Childhood education for preschoolers
  • Emergency shelter for the homeless and for those who are HIV-positive
  • Affordable housing for low-income families
  • Immigration legal services;
  • Refugee resettlement
  • Adoption services

Service By The Numbers

Based on the 2019/2020 fiscal year report, CCAN impacted the community in the following ways: 

  • 62,645 individuals served
  • 87 programs at 26 sites
  • 15,570 days of job training to 462 individuals
  • 626 people served in 4 justice programs
  • 677 older adults in 12 programs
  • 72,685 nights of shelter to 1,342 homeless individuals and families
  • 197 veterans served
  • 178 refugees served

Just to name a few of the organization’s accomplishments. 

Catholic Charities’ Mission

These programs and resources fulfill the mission of CCAN to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of all people and respond with sincere Christian compassion to the corporeal needs of the poor and marginalized. 

The service of Catholic Charities is inspired by—

  • Faith in Jesus Christ
  • Sacred Scripture
  • Continuing exposition of Catholic social teaching. 

Through these activities, Catholic Charities strives to assist individuals in need, strengthen families, and provide those it serves with an experience of God’s mercy.

Volunteer To Help Catholic Charities

Do you speak Spanish? 

Love to throw parties?

Enjoy feeding the hungry?

Use those skills and passions and volunteer for CCAN. Contact the office for the latest opportunities. 

Make ONE DONATION to the Holiday Fund and support 10 life-changing organizations in New Jersey.

History

In 1903 a group of lay Roman Catholics in New Jersey founded what is now Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark (CCAN). This was the first organization to work on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Today, the organization has 88 programs, serving close to 60,000 individuals in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union Counties. 

Learn more about the impact CCAN is having on the Greater Newark Area when you visit the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark website.