MONTCLAIR, N.J. – United Way of Northern New Jersey is seeking the assistance of area residents and businesses to purchase holiday gifts and winter coats for individuals in need during its United Way Gifts of the Season program.
In partnership with 20 area nonprofits, United Way seeks to bring holiday cheer to local children, senior citizens and adults with disabilities who are struggling to afford basic needs. United Way is building on 30 years of success with this drive in Somerset County by bringing it to Essex County.
“Families living paycheck to paycheck have the unenviable choice of having to weigh the basics, like paying the heating bill, against participating in the holiday season,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO John Franklin. “Thank you to all of those who join us in keeping the spirit of giving a central part of this holiday season.”
United Way research shows that nearly 11,000 households within a dozen suburban Essex towns qualify as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty. These households cannot afford life’s basic necessities of housing, food, health care, child care and transportation and are one emergency away from falling into financial ruin. The holidays and winter months bring additional financial stress, which United Way is seeking to alleviate with community support.
Residents and businesses can support United Way Gifts of the Season by requesting gift tags with holiday wish lists. Participants are asked to fulfill at least one of the wish list items with a new, unwrapped gift by Dec 11. United Way also accepts store gift cards and donations to purchase items listed on remaining gift tags.
In addition, residents and businesses can also show their support by donating new or gently used winter coats and outerwear so that families can use their limited funds to pay for their basic needs, such as housing, utilities, food or transportation. The greatest need each year is for coats in children’s sizes.
About United Way of Northern New Jersey
United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization working to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities by focusing on Education, Income, and Health. These are the building blocks for a good life – a quality education that leads to a stable job; the tools needed to achieve financial stability; and good health. We lead caring communities to create long-lasting changes that transform people’s lives. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. United Way of Northern New Jersey serves Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties as well as portions of suburban Essex County, including the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona. Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED. To learn more, call 973.993.1160 or visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org.