Giving Back

First-ever 'Adopt a Vet' Program Brightens Christmas for 88 Veterans

498f936ebd895f29148e_Adopt_a_Vet_Rose.jpg
Rose Pagan (center with red shirt) and volunteers work to organize the gifts in her kitchen. Credits: Rose Pagan
706fb91b70fee91bd4da_Adopt_a_Vet_living_room_present.jpg
Gifts were staged in Pagan's living room. Credits: Rose Pagan
2b608aad62eaee0b04fd_Adopt_a_Vet_hallway.jpg
Some of the gifts crept into the hallway. Credits: Rose Pagan
498f936ebd895f29148e_Adopt_a_Vet_Rose.jpg

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- It started simply as a way to provide a brighter Christmas for a few military veterans. By the time she was finished, Rose Pagan and her team of elves had “adopted” 88 veterans across Bergen County in the inaugural Adopt a Vet program.

“It was an amazing show of support, amazing,” said Pagan, who spearheaded the effort with A Hero’s Welcome North Jersey in conjunction with Bergen County Veterans Services.

Initially, Pagan started the program when she broached her new employer, Diakin Applied in Jersey City where she works as an office administrator, about the idea. The company ‘adopted’ four veterans. She thought maybe local friends would be interested in helping, too, so she posted it on Facebook. She said it “just took off within two to three days.”

Sign Up for E-News

She still gets emotional talking about it.

“The support was outstanding, it was beyond successful,” said said. “The amount of people that responded, 90% were from Hasbrouck Heights. It was overwhelming.”

The gift wishes ranged from toys, bikes, clothing, accessories and home goods.

Some parents told her that their children even offered to use their allowance to buy gifts.

“People were always asking ‘What do you need?’...’What can I buy?’” said Pagan.

The number of veterans helped totaled 88. Six were families, 10 to 12 had just come home from deployment. Others were moms, singles, and elderly or disabled. She even arranged for Santa to visit. The veterans were located throughout the county in Emerson, Oakland, Paramus, Hackensack, Wesmont, and those living in veterans homes.

Due to this year's response, Pagan is already looking ahead to next Christmas, when she plans to start in the fall.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly

Other

Sat, April 28, 8:00 AM

College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown

Conference and Resource Fair Promotes Advocacy ...

Education

Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club to Partner with Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in Earth Day Special Event

April 10, 2018

PATERSON, NJ  - The Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club (FLARC) will partner with the National Park Service with a special event amateur radio station to be held at the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson, NJ.

The event will be held on Friday, April 13 at the National Park Service location at Mary Ellen Kramer Park, entrance along Maple Street, Paterson, NJ from 9AM ...

Borough Council Agenda

April 11, 2018

Dear Hasbrouck Heights residents,

Some of you may have seen that on my Facebook page, Councilman Chris Hillmann - Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, I had begun sharing the agenda for our municipal council meetings. I wanted to share them so that our neighbors had a way to see what we as your elected officials were doing. The agenda is never posted on the town website in advance of the meeting, only after ...

Governor Murphy Signs Law to Automatically Register Voters and Update Records at MVC

April 17, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed into law on Tuesday a bill that would automatically register and update voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification card. The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Democrats, including District 36 Assemblyman Gary ...

Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bateman Bill, “ Bijou’s Law”, to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said Bateman.

Carlo's Bake Shop Closes Westfield Location

WESTFIELD, NJ – Carlo’s Bake Shop, known from the TLC network show “Cake Boss,” closed its E. Broad Street storefront this week.

Passerby on the street noticed on Tuesday that the store was closed. A sign in the window reads that the bakery is relocating, but a new location was not specified.

Carlo’s Bake Shop did not return a request for comment in time ...