Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Law Enforcement Collaborates to Provide Safe Experience at Toy Shop

Over the weekend, thousands of families received free toys and gifts for their children at the Season of Hope Toy Shop operated at Project Self-Sufficiency.  The effort involved hundreds of volunteers who assisted patrons, provided music and helped with traffic.  Local law enforcement officials from the state and county joined forces in a unique collaboration to ensure the safety of volunteers and patrons, noted Newton Police Chief Mike Richards, who oversaw the coordinated effort.

“Over the years, the toy shop has grown and there have been issues with traffic, access and security,” explains Richards.  “We started staging vehicles at Sussex County Community College and letting them down 10 – 12 at a time.  We have law enforcement officers on site, from 6am – 9pm on Friday, and 6am – 3pm on Saturday.  This is more than the Newton police department can provide.  Since there are residents from all over Sussex County who are coming here, I reached out to my colleagues and received an overwhelming response from other departments who were willing to help.  You will see that type of cooperation and community spirit across the county.”  Officers from the police departments in Andover, Sparta, Newton, Ogdensburg, as well as the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office and the New Jersey State Police were on site during the toy shop.  “How well we work together may be unique to Sussex County.  It’s nice to see the younger officers from other departments because it’s a good community event that’s so helpful to people.  There’s a lot of good spirit and positive interaction with the public which is good for officers to experience.”

The Season of Hope Toy Drive is a joint effort coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency, along with its partners First Hope Bank, Gravity DesignWorks, iHeartMedia, Inc., Intercar Mercedes Benz, Off Shore Marine, Pass it Along, The Printing Center, The New Jersey Herald, Selective Insurance Company of America, Service Electric Broadband Cable, Sparta Train Station, Stocker Bus Company, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Community College, Sussex Honda, and the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.  New, unwrapped toys and gift are provided to children in need from Sussex County, as well as residents of Northern Morris and Warren Counties.

“The Season of Hope Toy Shop is a large-scale event which stretches over numerous days and the number of families served here increases every year,” comments Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are exceptionally grateful to Newton Police Chief Mike Richards and all of the law enforcement personnel who gave freely of their time and expertise to coordinate the flow of traffic and to ensure the safety of our patrons and volunteers.”

Information about the Season of Hope Toy Drive and the programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency are available at www.projectselfsufficiency.org or by calling 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Santa Visits Sussex County Family Success Center

Hundreds of local children and their families were treated to an early visit from Santa at the annual Holiday party sponsored by the Sussex County Family Success Center and the Sussex County Council for Young Children at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Participants enjoyed goofy holiday games, music and crafts based on a Polar Express theme.  Pizza and cookies were provided by volunteers.  Children were greeted by a special visitor from the North Pole, playfully impersonated by Sussex County Freeholder Director George Graham.  Project Self-Sufficiency is a local non-profit agency which specializes in services for low-income families in northwestern New Jersey.

Sussex County Freeholder George Graham enthusiastically donned a red suit for his stint as Santa at the annual holiday party.  "I am honored to support the efforts of the Sussex County Family Success Center as it brings together families to enjoy this holiday season.  Every child deserves to believe in a little holiday magic and that is what this event is all about." 

“The annual holiday party at Project Self-Sufficiency is an exciting way to usher in the holidays, and our participants look forward to attending year after year,” noted Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon.  “We are very grateful to all of the volunteers who help to make this a merry occasion for the children and their families.”

Project Self-Sufficiency has served families in the New Jersey counties of Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon for more than 30 years.  Programs include career guidance, computer training, help with obtaining a high school diploma, parenting skills classes, legal assistance and education, financial workshops, health education, childcare and family activities.  The agency offers help around the holidays, formal dresses during prom season, and assistance with emergency basic needs, such as food and clothing to its participants.  Most services are free and many are open to the public. 

For information about the programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.  For more information about the Sussex County Family Success Center, visit www.sussexcountyfamilysuccesscenter.org.  Information about the Project Sussex Kids, the Sussex County Council for Young Children, can be found at www.projectsussexkids.org.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Free Bankruptcy Seminar this Month

Steve McNally, Esquire, will offer a free Bankruptcy seminar at Project Self-Sufficiency, Wednesday, November 28th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Learn about the process of filing for bankruptcy, as well as the options available to those facing overwhelming credit card debt, foreclosure or asset repossession.  The presentation is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.  To register, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.  Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton.