Westfield, NJ – Jane Kurek, Executive Director of The Provident Bank Foundation, along with Robert Vivo, SVP/Regional Manager and Paula Palermo, VP/Market Manager of Provident Bank, presented The Provident Bank Foundation's Major Grant of $10,000 to Caring Contact on Nov. 14. 

This grant will enable Caring Contact to expand its Save Our Youth program which is designed to raise awareness about teen suicide and increase resources to help teenagers in crisis.  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.

"The Provident Bank Foundation 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."

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Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24 in New Jersey.  In the United States, for every completed suicide by youth there are an average 100-200 attempts at suicide. Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

"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."

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 Mary Claire Givelber, the hotline's Director of Community Engagement, at 908.301.1899 or maryclaire.givelber@caringcontact.org

About Caring Contact
Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline providing active listening support and best-in-class education to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. We attentively and compassionately serve those in emotional distress and educate our communities about the power of personal connection. We are affiliated with CONTACT USA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association of Suicidology. If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call us at 908-232-2880.To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org

The Provident Bank Foundation was established in 2003 by Provident Bank to enhance the quality of life in the region through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools and other 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services in communities served by the Bank. Since inception, the Foundation has granted more than $24 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward stronger communities.