SPARTA (NJ) - Pass It Along hosted the Stand Down for Veterans Event this past Saturday, opening the doors of the Sparta Evangelical Free Church, located in Sparta, New Jersey, to local military personnel, as well as their families, to a variety of medical, legal and personal care services within the local community.

Volunteers arrived to the church around 8:30 in the morning, and assisted staff with setting up the large quantity of donated clothing from various members of the community, as well as local companies, including First Hope Bank and Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative. Around the same time, representatives from 16 different local organizations flooded the auxiliary space, armed with information to provide to the local military personnel of Northern New Jersey.

Doors opened at 9:00, as volunteers welcomed the pre-formed line of individuals to the event. They were then directed towards the kitchen area, where members of the Sparta Evangelical Free Church took orders and prepared breakfast for all those in attendance. While eating, teenage volunteers from Pass It Along joined in to start conversation and get to know each individual attending the event.

Sign Up for E-News

“I don’t think as I society we can ever repay those who risk their lives for our safety, but we can most certainly try by being an ear to listen, showing compassion and gratitude, and giving back however we can, whether if be a safe place, a pair of socks, a hair cut, a free breakfast, or even a simple thank you and a smile,” says Jennifer Poquette, Manager of Leadership and School-Based Programs for Pass It Along, and lead organizer for the event.

Local organizations that attended the event include: A Cut Above Barbershop, Atlantic Health System, Community Hope, Catholic Charities, Sussex County Division of Senior Services, Family Promise of Sussex County, Legal Services of Northwest Jersey Inc., New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, NAMI Sussex, Operation Sisterhood, Real House Inc., Sussex County Community College, The American Legion: Department of New Jersey, Top/SF, New Jersey Family Assistance Center, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Zufall Health Center.

About Pass It Along 

Pass It Along is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Lafayette, New Jersey. Pass It Along's mission is to build confident, resilient, compassionate teenagers through self-discovery, volunteer and leadership opportunities. By participating in the Pass It Along program, teenagers gain a strong sense of self, learn about the positive effects of helping others and are equipped to avoid risky behaviors. For more information and to view all of our programs we have to offer, please visit www.passitalong.org.