Project Self-Sufficiency invites teens and adults who want to make a difference in their community to consider volunteering at the agency this fall.  The ongoing pandemic, coupled with the traditional rush of programs hosted by the agency during the holiday season, has created a large variety of volunteer opportunities. 

 

Food distribution continues to be a top priority for Project Self-Sufficiency.  Since the onset of the public health crisis in the spring, the agency has provided food to over 5,000 individuals.  Sourcing food and bagging up donations requires the efforts of a dedicated team of staff members and volunteers each week.

 

With Thanksgiving around the corner, Project Self-Sufficiency is facing the prospect of providing almost double the number of complete holiday meals to its participants; the agency customarily gives away free frozen turkeys and all of the fixings to approximately 250 participants.  To date, close to 400 families have registered for assistance and more are expected.

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The massive Season of Hope Toy Drive which is spearheaded by Project Self-Sufficiency every year promises to be a logistical challenge this time around.  The holiday toy shop operated at the agency distributed toys to almost 3,000 children and teens during 2019.  The traditionally two-day event now must be stretched across two months to allow for appropriate social distancing, which means that additional volunteers are needed to gather, sort and display toys throughout October, November, and December.

 

“Project Self-Sufficiency has relied on volunteers to support our mission since the agency’s inception almost 35 years ago, and the need is greater now than ever before,” commented Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon.  “The families we serve are experiencing unprecedented hardship due to the economic fallout associated with the pandemic.  We are fortunate to be poised to meet their needs, but to do so, we need the community’s help.  This is a great opportunity for college students who had to attend school remotely, as well as others who just want to make a difference in the lives of local families.”

 

Volunteer opportunities are available at Project Self-Sufficiency Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.  Interested volunteers are invited to call 973-940-3500 or register on the agency’s website, https://www.projectselfsufficiency.org/volunteer.  Masks must be worn at all times and strict health protocols are in place at the agency’s campus in accordance with current Covid-19 guidelines.

 

Project Self-Sufficiency is a community-based non-profit organization which specializes in services for low-income families in northwestern New Jersey.  Programs offered at Project Self-Sufficiency include family literacy education, computer training and job placement services, assistance with parenting skills, childcare, counseling and advocacy, referrals, and help with emergency basic needs.  To make a donation, or for more information about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org or call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.