NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The greatest gift in life is giving, and today there are many people in need of help because of Hurricane Sandy. On Monday Jan. 7, 2103, the New Providence Business and Professional Association (NPBPA) held its annual Holiday Party to thank borough employees at the New Providence Senior Center, but this year, the NPBPA also donated $1,000 to the Community Service Association.
Jimmy Vardas, the owner of the Prestige Diner and the president of the Downtown Improvement District, and Michelle Brugger, owner of Marital Arts for Life and president of the NPBPA presented the CSA with the check. Vardas said the business owners saw there was a need for help and did the right thing.
According to CSA’s website, “Their purpose is to counsel individuals and families in need of help and guide them to proper governmental or other social agencies when eligible. We provide interim care until other care is established. When eligibility does not exist, we shall, through our own efforts, aid the distressed. This aid shall be offered without regard to race, nationality or religious belief.”
They are a nonprofit organization that helps people with bills, food, and rent. The CSA case worker works with prospective clients. Each client is assigned a number by the case worker, thus assuring complete anonymity before the client case is presented to the volunteer board. Each case is acted upon promptly.
Longtime New Providence resident Carol Mohoney has been president of the organization for 12 years. Helping others has always been important to her, she said.
“We’re here to extend a helping hand,” she said.
Her right hand man, John Malinauskas, was an engineer for many years, but a decade ago became the case worker for CSA and loves it. His wife was originally part of the organization and for Malinauskas this is the best job because he is a people person.
Making people happy is extremely gratifying and sometimes it even brings him to tears, he said.
“I do it because it’s from in here (he pointed to his heart),” he said. “I help these people out because in some ways I know what their conditions are.”
New Providence Mayor Brooke Hern said he was impressed with the NPBPA's generosity and also expressed his gratitude to the council, policemen and firemen for the excellent work they did during the super storm.
“It’s hard to believe we’re in tough economic times, but the reality is we are,” Hern said. “Our local businesses are phenomenal and they’re great people.”
The event was hosted by Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors and Prudential NJ Properties, catered by Paolo’s Kitchen and Al Elefante of Elefante Music and fellow band members performed.