Giving Back

Schools Compete to Stuff the Stocking on Behalf of the Season of Hope Toy Drive

Sussex County schools are competing to Stuff the Stocking on behalf of the Season of Hope Toy Drive.

NEWTON, NJ - Local elementary, middle schools and high schools have entered a friendly competition to donate toys to the Season of Hope toy drive to benefit children in Sussex and Northern Warren counties.  The toy shop will serve over 1,000 families and over 1,600 children and teens this December. 

A decorated school bus will swoop down on each school in mid-December and cart the items away for distribution to local families.  The winning school will receive a monetary contribution toward its activities fund, along with a trophy which will have to be defended the following year. 

Runners up will also receive monetary contributions.  Schools involved in the competition include:

Sign Up for E-News

  • Blair Academy,
  • Clifton E. Lawrence School,
  • Frankford Township School,
  • Fredon Township School,
  • Green Hills School,
  • Hardyston Elementary School,
  • Halsted Middle School,
  • Kittatinny Regional High School,
  • Lenape Valley Regional High School,
  • Marian E. McKeown Elementary School,
  • Merriam Avenue School,
  • Montague Elementary School,
  • Newton High School,
  • Northern Hills Academy,
  • Ogdensburg School,
  • Pope John XXIII High School,
  • Reverend Brown School,
  • Rolling Hills School,
  • Sandyston-Walpack Elementary School,
  • Sparta High School,
  • Sparta Middle School,
  • Sussex Middle School,
  • Valley Road School,
  • Vernon Township High School, and
  • Wantage Elementary School. 

Organizers hope to encourage each local school to collect hundreds or even thousands of gift items over the course of the next few weeks.

The toy drive is a joint effort coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency, along with its partners: 

  • Charm,
  • The Chatterbox Drive In,
  • iHeartMedia, Inc.,
  • Intercar Mercedes Benz,
  • Pass it Along,
  • Selective Insurance Company of America,
  • Service Electric Broadband Cable,
  • the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce,
  • Sussex Honda,
  • The New Jersey Herald,
  • The Printing Center, and
  • the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots to benefit local families in need. 

The group aims to gather thousands of new and unwrapped items to distribute to families in need during mid-December. 

Local Girl Scout Ruby Esposito has initiated a complementary toy drive, Project Toys 4 Teens, in pursuit of her Gold Award.  Esposito will be visiting local schools with the aim of inspiring her fellow students to make contributions to the Season of Hope Toy Drive. 

“Through Girl Scouts I have volunteered for Project Self-Sufficiency and worked at the Season of Hope Toy Shop,” she explains.  “Every year there is a great amount of toys collected for toddlers and middle school children.  However, there is a lack of teen toys and I feel that I can make a difference.” 

“Having children involved in helping other children to enjoy the holiday season is very important to us,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are very excited to have all of these individual schools come together in support of the low-income families in our area, and we are particularly grateful to Ruby Esposito for her dedication to this effort.”

Those who wish to contribute to the Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive are encouraged to drop off a new, unwrapped toy at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Gift items will be gratefully received at Project Self-Sufficiency, which is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton, Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m. or Friday, 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. 

Monetary donations to the drive can be made at  Toy donations are requested by December 16 in order to allow ample time for the items to be distributed to needy families.   For more information, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500, or visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: License Plate Trouble Uncovers Suspended License and Warrant

April 11, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A man driving a truck without a license plate was arrested for having an outstanding $2500 warrant.  On February 42 around 8 a.m. Cpl. Craig Grauerholz stopped Elioesal Gomez driving gray Ford pulling a trailer driven, police report.

The 25-year-old Salem resident was taken into custody when the warrant from Plesgrove was discovered.  Gomez’s license had been ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic


Fri, May 4, 7:00 PM

Sparta Evangelical Free Church, Sparta

Veritas Christian Academy presents The Music Man

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, May 6, 7:00 AM

Liberty State Park, Jersey City

11th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, May 13, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


The Issue of Alternatives to Elected School Boards

April 14, 2018

The time of electing local school boards should come to an end. According to the National School Boards Association, “the local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost, school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school ...

Home Buying Myths Slayed

Team Nest Builder wants YOU to know the truths about buying a New Jersey home!

Some Highlights:

The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!

Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers.

88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!

The credit score requirements for mortgage ...

Buy A Home To Build Your Family's Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. Team Nest Builder wants you to understand what that means for homeowners and their equity positions.

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home ...

Now’s the Time to Buy Your NJ Luxury Home

House no longer fits your needs? Planning on buying a New Jersey luxury home? Now is the time to do so!

Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.  The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these ...

Buy a Home NOW Before Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

Whether you’re a buyer searching for your first home, or a homeowner looking to move up to your next home, Team Nest Builder knows you should pay attention to where mortgage interest rates are heading.

Over the course of 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates increased from 3.95% in the first week of January to 4.40% in the first week of April.

At ...

6 Simple Decorating Tricks for Your NJ Home

Ever watched “Trading Spaces” and wondered, “How do they pull together a beautiful room so quickly?”  Team Nest Builder knows! Read on for these 6 simple decorating tricks from the newly relaunched “Trading Spaces” stars.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference they make in your New Jersey home!

Let Your Heart Choose Your Art

Laurie Smith ...

Clean Your Closet and Help Sussex County Children By Donating Shoes

You know those shoes in the back of your closet that scream.”I grew up watching “Friends”’? Team Nest Builder wants to help YOU get rid of them while doing good for Sussex County children, through the Sojihuggles Children’s Foundation.

Now through May 15th, donate your gently worn, used or new shoes to help underprivileged children in Sussex County while ...

Want to avoid gaining weight? Don’t diet!

Researchers aiming to identify lifestyle factors related to weight management followed more than 4,500 young adults (average age 24) for ten years. At the end of the study period, 77% of the men and 72% of the women had gained weight. The lifestyle factors associated with no weight gain among the remaining 23% of the men and 28% of women were regular eating patterns (not skipping meals) and no ...

Free Family Expo Offers Resources and Fun Activities

April 20, 2018

Northern New Jersey parents and children are invited to Project Self-Sufficiency’s annual Family Expo, Thursday, April 26th, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Workshops for parents will be supplemented by children’s activities, dinner, gift card raffles and other events.  The Family Expo is sponsored by the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency and Project ...