WEST ORANGE, NJ — Members of the New Jersey Ilankai Community, formed to uphold Sri Lankan tradition and teach the language (Tamil) to Sri Lankan children in the area, recently visited the office of "Partnership for Children of Essex" (PCENJ) in West Orange to donate Christmas clothes, toys and footwear.

The organization, led by West Orange resident Gnanaseharan Selliah, has more than 300 members and periodically engages in community-service activities such as making donations to charities like the PCENJ, an organization that caters for more than 1600 children with emotional and behavioral challenges.

More than 30 members of the New Jersey Ilankai community, including children and parents, visited the organization over the holidays and donated more than six boxes of items collected and packaged by the community’s youth.

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“It was a highly rewarding experience for the New Jersey Ilankai Community members, as it reminds us of how important it is to give others during Christmas and New Year seasons,” said Haran Selliah. “Our children, who were accompanied by their parents and by the New Jersey Ilankai Community administrators, witnessed the event, which made them very proud of their work and their community.”

According to Selliah, PCENJ executive director Victor Alvarez and director of community resources Erika Rowe were present to receive the donation and highly appreciated the efforts of the community. New Jersey Ilankai Community plans to reach out and donate to the needy children and youth again in the future.

The New Jersey Ilankai Community engages in various social, cultural and political activities that enhance the lifestyle of members. Established in 2014, the organization aims to bring its members under one umbrella for a common cause.

In addition to donating to organizations like PCENJ, the New Jersey Ilankai Community also participates in activities such as donating blood to needy people in the area and educating its newly immigrated children and parents to help integrate them into the life of an American.  

A community language school, named "Bharathiyaar Tamil School," which is administered by New Jersey Ilankai Community, teaches Tamil language to both young and high school-age children at different levels. 

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