MONTCLAIR, NJ – John is a senior citizen who was being evicted from his home and was facing homelessness. Kathy is a single mother who fell ill suddenly and while recovering on temporary disability was in danger of having her heat turned off.

Both are Suburban Essex residents who were able to skirt disaster due to the generosity of the local community giving to United Way Holiday Fund last year.

Other local residents may not be as fortunate if United Way of Northern New Jersey is unable to meet its goal of raising $12,000 for its emergency assistance fund. As of January 16, nearly $9,000 had been received in donations.

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“We are close to our goal, but that additional $3,000 can be the difference for more neighbors being able to remain sheltered and warm this winter,” said United Way’s Income Manager Durelle McPherson. “We have seen this community rise to the occasion before in the face of need. Please consider making a contribution, it’s not too late.”

In 2014, United Way disbursed more than $25,000 in emergency assistance to local families in need helping to pay for mortgage, rent and utilities. Among those helped were John and Kathy.

In John’s case, United Way was able to provide a first month’s rent so that the senior citizen, who lives on Social Security, could find affordable housing.  For Kathy, who was falling behind on her bills since her disability supports were less than her salary had been, United Way paid for a heating bill. She and her 11-year-old son avoided having their utility shut off.

More than 7,800 Suburban Essex families are considered ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These are families earning more than the official U.S. poverty level, but less than the high cost of living in the region.

All individuals and families receiving United Way’s emergency financial assistance are introduced to career coaching, job training and financial literacy programs. Only individuals and families living in Suburban Essex’s 11 communities, (Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona), are eligible to receive this assistance.

All donations to the Fund go directly to families in need; none are used to support United Way administrative costs.

Please visit United Way’s website, or send your tax-deductible contribution to United Way of Northern New Jersey, 60 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.  Please note United WayHoliday Fund in the memo.  For more information, or call 973.993.1160, x105.

Donors as of January 16, 2014


Louise Blanche Ritscher

Rita Annan-Brady

Barbara J Vitkowsky

Louis M.Renzetti

Richard Cummings

Cedar Grove

Joan L. Loiacono

Essex Fells

Greg M.Gupton

Dennis J. Drasco


Ruth K. Banagan

Josephine Haines

Charles Siegel

James Lynch Esq.

Paul A. Pearlson

Richard J. Russo


Pat  Ackershoek

Robert S.Constable

Robert Russo

Willard Tressel

Monica Biondi

Jacqueline R.Meyer

Betty Rosenblum

The Woman's Club of Upper Montclair

Millburn-Short Hills

Ira Berkowitz

Robert Campbell

North Caldwell

John V Zurlo

Barbara J. Day

Harvey J. Bazaar


Scott T. Leach


Terrance Moore

Kathy Fess

Mary M.Trivigno

West Caldwell

Barbara E. Keane

Robert Foster

Alfred J.Kopf

Jeffrey H.Schechter

Chris Gustafson

West Orange

Marie Donnelly

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 973.746.4040 or visit