FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Hundreds of people gathered at Pine Grove Manor Elementary School, this Saturday to volunteer for various projects such as picking up trash, painting select rooms and making crafts.

The reason, its second annual "Jersey Cares Day" event. 

"Jersey Cares is a non-profit organization that makes volunteering fun, easy and meaningful throughout the state while addressing major community issues through volunteerism," Jessica McKenzie, service events coordinator said. "Participating is as simple as going to, and creating an account to see the opportunities we have available every day of the week."

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Saturday was Jersey Cares' 19th annual 'Jersey Cares Day' event, in which they partnered with various community organizations throughout the state, Pine Grove Manor Elementry was the only organization to participate, this year in Somerset county.  

The partnership with Jersey Cares started last year after it reached out to the school last year, to ask it to identify what its needs are, according to Lynn Schussel, Pine Grove Manor school counselor. Jersey Cares reached out again this year, and the school provided them with a list of this year's needs. 

"It's really nice that they are willing to do this, and they basically do everything, they just contacted me to figure out our needs, and they bring the supplies and and all of the people, they are very self-sufficient," Schussel said. 

Volunteers were split into multiple groups all designed to address specific needs for the school. One group was focused on revitalization projects such as picking up trash outside the building, painting select rooms, re-staining a small wooden amphitheater, and making signs for the school garden.

The other group worked on special kits, which included planters, pillows, and other craft items that will be donated to the school. 

"I just want people to know we really appreciate all of their hard work and help, and it is really kind of them to spend this Saturday morning doing something like this for the community," Schussel said. "The staff and the students really appreciate it." 

In previous years, Jersey Cares has also worked very closely with Pine Grove, designing murals and building picnic tables and benches for school use. 

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