Giving Back

Press Releases

Northfield Bank Foundation Donates $10,000 to Crisis Listening Line Caring Contact

bd762f3149f253a8f63a_Caring_Contact_Northfield.jpg
Ray Cruz and Maria Fuentes (left) of Northfield Bank present a check for $10,000 to Janet Sarkos of crisis listening line Caring Contact for its Save Our Youth Program.
bd762f3149f253a8f63a_Caring_Contact_Northfield.jpg

Northfield Bank Foundation has provided a grant of $10,000 to crisis listening line Caring Contact to enable the hotline to expand its Save Our Youth Program. Save Our Youth is a program designed to raise awareness about teen suicide and increase resources to help teenagers in crisis. 

Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline and listening community, providing active listening support and best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. More than 80 trained volunteer listeners answered more than 10,200 calls last year from people in crisis, having suicidal thoughts or simply feeling depressed and lonely.

The hotline launched the Save Our Youth Program in 2012 and to date has distributed more than 30,000 pieces of educational materials to 110 schools, churches, service organizations and nonprofits working with youth throughout North-Central New Jersey, including posters, cards, bookmarks and brochures targeting both youth and adults.

Sign Up for E-News

"The Northfield grant will enable Caring Contact to continue our work bringing training directly to youth and the people who support them, including active listening, emotional wellness and suicide prevention training," said Janet Sarkos, Caring Contact's executive director. "With this funding, we will accomplish the goal of giving students the tools they need to share their emotional pain and suffering with family and friends before reaching the point of considering suicide."

In the first quarter of 2018, Caring contact will hold four training sessions with youth groups, with several more in the planning stages, according to Sarkos. These include a youth group dealing with the suicide of a member and three scheduled for Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.

In addition, the hotline will hold scheduled ASIST training, a 16-hour suicide intervention certification course, for Cranford Public School counselors in April. This program will prepare school leaders across the district who work daily with students to intervene during a crisis. Funds from Northfield Bank make it possible to offer this program at a significantly reduced rate, according to Sarkos.

"The ultimate goal of this project is to bring Caring Contact’s 40-plus years of experience in active listening and suicide prevention to as many students as possible," she said. "This grant will allow us to expand our reach to classrooms, youth groups and other student-focused organizations all over our service area, helping students express themselves to others and to listen actively and compassionately when needed."

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24 in New Jersey. Each day in the United States there are an average of more than 5,200 attempted suicide by youth in grades 7-12. Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

Caring Contact works with educators and parents to bring the program to schools or youth groups. Any school administrator or parent interested in introducing the Save our Youth Program to their school, or simply wanting to learn more about the program, should contact Melinda Allen-Grote, the hotline's outreach coordinator, at 908.301.1899 or melinda.allengrote@caringcontact.org.

If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call Caring Contact at 908-232-2880.To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org.

Anyone interested in volunteering at Caring Contact should visit http://caringcontact.org/give-support/volunteer/. There are non-listening volunteering opportunities, as well.

Caring Contact serves Central and Northern New Jersey and is a primary responder to calls to the national suicide prevention line (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE) that originate in New Jersey. Callers also reach Caring Contact by dialing 908-232-2880. Those preferring to seek supporting through texting may text “heart” to 741-741. The hotline also provides best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey Community.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Rahway

Union County's Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 24, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

Westfield Residents Host 6th Annual Massive Tag Sale to Benefit Furniture Assist

April 25, 2018

If you like a bargain, love antiques or collectibles, or need furniture/household/clothing/children’s items, please visit the upcoming 6th Annual Massive Tag Sale Friday & Saturday, April 27-28, starting at 9 a.m., to benefit Furniture Assist. The sale is held at 816 Prospect Street, Westfield, NJ, and attracts bargain-hunters, antique dealers and collectors from all over New ...

Learning to Fly Drones at Lamberts Mill Academy

Thanks to a very generous donation from the Columbia Bank Foundation the students at Lamberts Mill Academy are learning how to build, program and fly drones. This innovative program will ensure that students gain skills needed for 21st Century employment. 

 

Lamberts Mill Academy, located in Westfield, New Jersey, is part of the Union County Educational Services Commission.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...