PATERSON, NJ – Oasis, a non-profit which serves women and children on Mill Street in Paterson, has been in full holiday mode throughout December, accepting 5,000 donations of new toys, coats, hats, scarves, and pajamas to make the holidays brighter for those in need.
Santa’s elves, led by long-time volunteer Mary Ellen Vitti, spend two weeks organizing these donations and transforming the Oasis 3rd floor community room into Santa’s workshop. This collection culminates in opportunities for 300 adult education students and 500 women from the community to choose toys and clothes for the children in their families.
“The holidays at Oasis remind us how small acts of kindness truly go a long way,” said Oasis Executive Director Jennifer Brady. “Donations of a toy or a coat from a generous family go directly to a family who won’t have much else under their tree or in their closet. Our women and children are so very grateful for this outpouring of generosity and their smiles and words of gratitude throughout the season prove it.”
Corporate and community groups volunteered their time to help organize and manage the thousands of donations over the last two weeks, including Sax LLP, Bank of America, Church of St. Anne, Columbia Bank, Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology, Health and Wellness Partners, and Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of NJ.
The Oasis community brunch on Thursday, December 22 served as the capstone of the holiday season. Over 500 women and children enjoyed a delicious hot meal from the Market Basket of Franklin Lakes before browsing the toy room for gifts. Passaic County Freeholder Assad Akhter joined the celebration and helped served the holiday meal. Over 50 volunteers from numerous community and corporate groups made the day run smoothly, including those from Benjamin Moore, BD, Circle of Care, Direct Energy, Hawthorne Gospel Church, and KPMG.
“The giving spirit is alive and well in the New Jersey corporate community,” noted Oasis Chief Development and Marketing Officer Kathleen Long. “Our corporate partners have again stepped up to lift the spirits of those in need, just as they support our efforts to help women and children rise out of poverty and create better futures for their families. They’re with us not just in December, but all year long.”
About Oasis - A Haven for Women and Children: Oasis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Paterson, New Jersey whose mission is to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate, and empower women and children in need. Over 700 women and children are served every day. Learn more at www.oasisnj.org.