Administrators from Blair Academy recently took a break during their annual summer retreat to build brand new bicycles for three children served by Project Self-Sufficiency. The effort was the second time in recent months that the school has partnered with the local non-profit agency to help area low-income families. More than 100 students and faculty spent the day at Project Self-Sufficiency in May to help create community gardens and other projects. Administrators note that having seen firsthand the challenges faced by Project Self-Sufficiency participants and their families, the non-profit was the obvious choice for the bike donation.
“All of us at Blair not only want to be an exceptional school, but also an exceptional neighbor,” said Head of School Chris Fortunato. “Our faculty and staff embraced the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others in our community, and the smiles on the faces of these kids and their parents made it clear that they appreciated the effort.”
The three children selected by Project Self-Sufficiency to receive the bikes practiced riding up and down the hallways at Blair Academy, and proudly posed for pictures with their benefactors before carting home their new equipment. New helmets were also provided for the children.
“We are very grateful to the staff at Blair Academy for seizing this opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of these families,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency. “These bikes will allow the children to exercise, build their gross motor skills and enjoy some time outside this summer pursuing a new and healthy activity.”
“I hope that Blair and Project Self-Sufficiency will continue to find ways to collaborate and leverage the desire of our students and faculty to engage in public service work that benefits local families in our area,” Mr. Fortunato said.
Project Self-Sufficiency is a private non-profit community-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income families residing in northwestern New Jersey. The agency’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of holistic, respectful, and comprehensive services enabling low-income single parents, teen parents, two-parent families, and displaced homemakers to improve their lives and the lives of their children while achieving personal and economic self-sufficiency and family stability. Since 1986 Project Self-Sufficiency has served more than 20,000 families, including more than 30,000 children.
To make a donation to Project Self-Sufficiency, or to find out more about the programs and services available at the agency, call 973-940-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.