ORANGE, NJ - Once again, The Shauger Group (TSG) is proud to have partnered with SUEZ in North Jersey on another project to help the local community. Together, SUEZ and TSG will donate 750 total backpacks to three local municipalities and a nonprofit organization: the City of Orange, the City of Jersey City, the Town of Kearny, and WomenRising.

Members of SUEZ and TSG will present the backpacks to representatives from Orange, Jersey City, Kearny, and WomenRising, who will accept the backpacks on behalf of their respective entities and will help coordinate efforts to distribute them to children who need them. SUEZ and TSG plan to deliver the backpacks on August 16, well-timed right before the start of the new upcoming school year.

“We are happy to be able to help students start the new school year off with new backpacks with school supplies,” said Donald Shauger, executive vice president of TSG. “Investing in our youth is the best investment one can make. As a team, we can—and we will—make a difference in the future of our youth.”

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“SUEZ prides itself on building sustainable futures,” said Ghilianie Soto, manager for northeast communications and community relations for SUEZ. “Providing the necessary tools and resources for the youth to succeed in life is a critical part of that future and our mission as a company.”
Prior to donating the backpacks, TSG hosted a small gathering on August 15 for representatives from both SUEZ and TSG to fill the backpacks with school supplies, such as folders, notebooks, crayons, pencils, erasers, and glue sticks.

After SUEZ and TSG make their donation, the City of Orange will distribute its backpacks to children in attendance at Mayor Dwayne Warren’s annual “Operation Back to School” event, which will be held this year on August 24, 2019, at Central Avenue Playground in Orange. Operation Back to School will feature free backpacks, school supplies, food, drinks, and even haircuts; the day’s festivities will also include music, face painting, swimming, games, and dancing. At last year’s event, the City distributed over 1,000 backpacks to local students from preschool age to college age.

WomenRising is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that offers support to women and children in need.The organization provides social services and advocacy services; offers counseling, intervention, outreach, shelter, and resources in periods of crisis; lends support with job placement and occupational training; and otherwise encourages and empowers women on the path to self-sufficiency.

WomenRising assists around 10,000 to 15,000 women and children annually. TSG has been actively involved in supporting WomenRising for several years, including by serving as a sponsor of WomenRising’s annual Celebration of Service Gala—in fact, TSG first learned of WomenRising through SUEZ, a longtime supporter of the nonprofit. WomenRising will actually honor SUEZ at this coming year’s Celebration of Service Gala by naming its “Corporate Sponsor Award” after SUEZ.

In a similar spirit of generosity, SUEZ and TSG will also donate $2,500 via a corporate sponsorship to The Navigator Project, which offers resources and help to children, seniors, and veterans in communities that are low-income or underserved throughout New Jersey. The Navigator Project, an Orange-based organization that was founded in 2015, focuses mainly on assisting homeless, reentry, bilingual, or single-family home populations. The Navigator Project collaborates with other organizations on a variety of community initiatives, including providing thousands of people access to free healthcare education, helping them enroll for health benefits through the Affordable Care Act and New Jersey Family Cares, assisting with social services applications, and aiding with utilities assistance referrals. The Navigator Project’s efforts have also included donating toys and Thanksgiving turkeys to families in need.

One of The Navigator Project’s largest missions is also to offer families a safe—and educational—place to bring their children when their children are not in school. Through The Navigator Project, the “Circle of Excellence Camp” provides a safe, fun, and educational summer camp opportunity to approximately 250 children per year between the ages of six and 14. Students who participate benefit from trips, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education, reading, sports, swimming, and free meals. The Navigator Project seeks camp sponsors for these children, who are primarily from low-income and single-family homes, to help defray the cost of camp for working parents who seek to keep their kids in a positive environment while they are at work.

“When I was growing up in West Orange, my mother raised five children on her own, and she counted on programs like The Navigator Project to help our family,” said Donald Shauger. “The residents of Orange are truly lucky to have programs like TNP [The Navigator Project]. Fast-forward fifty years, we are blessed to be service partners with SUEZ, proudly working with them to pay it forward. On behalf of SUEZ, The Shauger Group, and the residents and business owners in Orange, we are grateful to the mayor of Orange for programs like TNP.”

TSG has partnered with SUEZ on other community service projects over the past few years. For Thanksgiving this past November, SUEZ and TSG donated more than 400 turkeys to the City of Orange and City of Jersey City, so that the turkeys could be distributed in turn to families and organizations throughout those communities. In May 2017, SUEZ was one of several companies and volunteers that joined a volunteer effort spearheaded by TSG to renovate Newark’s Apostles’ House homeless shelter.

“As our partnership with The Shauger Group continues to grow, so does our roots in each community,” said Soto. “They continue to set the bar high for community investment and create pathways to success for those in need and we are excited to be a part of that journey.”
For back-to-school this fall, TSG will also donate 500 additional backpacks to benefit students in other local communities, including East Orange (where TSG’s headquarters are located), Bloomfield, and Irvington.

“We are truly grateful to have found such a wonderful service partner in SUEZ,” said Lisa Shauger, president/CEO of TSG. “Their organization is as passionate about philanthropy as we are, regularly donating their company time and resources for the betterment of the community at large. It has been inspiring to brainstorm with a like-minded organization about different ways we can work together to help the community—particularly people who need it the most.”

“We hope that our backpack donation helps hundreds of kids who are in need of backpacks and school supplies as the new school year approaches,” added Lisa Shauger. “It can hinder children’s educational opportunities if their families are struggling financially and have to overcome economic obstacles to provide them with the basic supplies they need to succeed in school. We would hate for that to be a barrier to any student’s success in school, so we hope that our donation helps alleviate that financial strain on families in need and allows children to get the most out of their education. In a similar vein, we are excited as well to make a difference through The Navigator Project: it’s a great initiative that reaches a lot of kids each year, and we are thrilled to know we’ll have a hand in the amazing work they do.”