Giving Back

Pass it Along's 'Tilly's Kids' Program Brings Summer Fun

Pass it Along volunteers with Tilly's Kids Credits: Provided by Melissa Terhune

NEWARK, NJ - There is no doubt that Pass it Along’s “Tilly’s Kids” program has brought many smiles to the faces of both volunteers and a group of underserved, elementary-aged children from Newark. Pastor Tilly is a pastor at the House of Mercy Mission in Newark, New Jersey and she works with Pass it Along to develop mentoring programs.

Once or twice every week throughout the entire summer thus far, Pass it Along volunteers from various high schools in Sussex County met this extraordinary group of children at either Pastor Tilly’s home in Byram or at Swartswood State Park to create “camp days” for the children.

Each day, a volunteer was assigned a “buddy group” which included two to four children who were their “buddies” for the day. Each buddy group spent the day together and followed a fun-filled schedule. A typical day in this program:

Sign Up for E-News

  • greet the excited children when they arrive from Newark on their bus,
  • teach them how to swim and overcome their fears of jumping into the water,
  • serve them lunch,
  • take them to class, and
  • run around and play with them during free time.

The class time often included lessons on animals, entertaining and educational science experiments, and reading. The free time included helping the children learn to ride bikes, having a pretend tea party with some of the little girls, and shooting some hoops with some of the boys.

The Pass it Along volunteers had many empowering experiences. One student taught a young girl how to swim.  Before she left, she thanked her buddy and said, “ I could never have learned to swim without you!”

Lenny Fontes, a junior at Sparta High School, said, “It's amazing how people with so little can be so happy. The smiles and positive outlooks from even the youngest of kids continues to inspire and change my life with every visit with Tilly's Kids.”

Dani Dellamo, a junior at Sussex Tech, said, “Although I only got a chance to participate for one day in Tilly’s Kids this summer, the program instantly reminded me of how much of a positive impact service has on people’s lives and how rewarding volunteering truly is. This program will continue to inspire me to help everyone I can and go along with my journey in Pass it Along.”


Next week, for the final day of the Tilly’s Kids program, each child will receive a donated backpack filled with donated school supplies for the upcoming school year. Volunteers, Pass it Along, and Tilly’s Kids all hope to continue their relationships throughout the school year in other events and through other programs.

Volunteers learned what it means to be a role-model and the children carry the lessons they learned and the new friendships they created home with them. This program definitely shows that no matter what walks of life people come from, a fun and rewarding day in the sun can never go to waste.

Editor's Note: Melissa Terhune is an AP English student at Sparta High School where she is in the National Honor society and plays on the tennis team.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta's Junior Police Academy, Loaded with Activity

August 23, 2017

SPARTA, NJ – There was a lot of police activity at the Sparta Middle School this week, as the Sparta Police Department held their annual Junior Police Academy.  On Wednesday, the 66 participants got to see the New Jersey State Police bomb squad robots, Atlantic Health helicopter, New Jersey State Police marine unit boat.  That was just the first day.

In addition to the big ...

Sparta Police: Broken Windsheild Leads to Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ – Two Wall residents are facing drug charges after being stopped for a broken windshield.  On August 18 around 10:10 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino smelled burnt marijuana coming from the car during the traffic stop on Route 15, according to police.

Police Officer Lynott, Police Officer Guido and Police Officer Finley arrived to provide backup.  Rubino had the ...

Sparta Man Charged After Taking Clothes Off in Police Headquarters

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta man is facing charges after disrobing in the police station, police say. 

On August 17 around 10:45 a.m. Sparta Cpl. Marc Rubino and Police Officer Steven Guido went to investigate a call about Jose Lewis violating a temporary restraining order.  Lewis was brought to the Sparta Police headquarters for violating the order, police report.

While ...

Obituaries

- Jun 2, 2017
Jillian Mari Baluyot, 17, of Nutley, passed away on June 2, 2017. Born in Secaucus, she lived in ...
Read more
- Feb 21, 2017
Marisa Rincon (30) passed away in Randolph on February 21,2017. She was born is West Chester, PA ...
Read more

Come Together

August 22, 2017

Lately, our nation has been torn apart over the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA. What America witnessed that day were two extreme hate groups unleashing their fury upon each other. The far-right Neo-Nazi white supremacist groups were protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, and the far left group Antifa was counter-protesting them. First and foremost, everyone must come together ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, August 25, 12:00 PM

Newton Medical Center, Romano Conference and Education Center, Room 100, Newton

Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Newton Support Group

Education Health & Wellness

Fri, August 25, 12:00 PM

Newton Medical Center, Romano Conference and Education Center, Room 100, Newton

Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Newton Support Group

Health & Wellness

Sat, August 26, 10:00 AM

Newton Medical Center, Romano Conference and Education Center, Room 100, Newton

Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Newton Support Group

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_01231e294d207f715a02_lawn_sign_with_flag_large

Sun, August 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Photographers Eye the Van Kirk Homestead Museum

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, August 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Music at the Museum with SMOOTH SAILIN'

Arts & Entertainment

Newton Police Officer Promoted to Sergeant

August 20, 2017

NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Police Department promoted one of their own, Thomas Muller, to the rank of Sergeant, during the Town Council meeting on Monday.  With the promotion, he has a new assignment; the Patrol Division.

Muller was born and raised in Newton.  He graduated as a part of Newton High School’s Class of 1993.  Following that he attended Montclair State ...

New Providence 11U Gold Wins NPGL Title

August 17, 2017

The undefeated New Providence 11U Gold team completed a perfect season by defeating the also previously undefeated Elmora Troopers 4 - 3 in the finals of the 2017 NPGL baseball season. The Pioneers knew coming into the game, they had to play the perfect game, and they did just that. 

After a top of the first run by Elmora, the Pioneers struck back with 4 runs in the bottom of the ...

6 Common First-Time New Jersey Home Buyer Mistakes

Buying your first home raises lots of emotions.  With so many considerations and processes to navigate, it’s easy to get tripped up in details and make costly errors.  Here’s how to avoid some common missteps made by first time New Jersey home buyers:

Don’t Skip Home Loan Qualification

Decided to buy a new home in New Jersey? Make your first stop a real estate ...

Sustained level of stress hormone throughout day associated with poor health

When researchers at Northwestern University reviewed 80 previous studies involving more than 25,000 people looking into the effects of the stress hormone cortisol on health, they found that when it remains consistently high throughout out the day, instead of fluctuating as it normally does, it is associated with inflammation/immune problems, obesity, fatigue, cancer, depression and other mental ...

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

August 23, 2017

NEWTON, NJ - This September marks the 30th anniversary of Library Card Sign-up month, a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that a library card is the first step toward academic achievement and lifelong learning.

When visiting any of the six Sussex County Library System (SCLS) locations, ...