Teens gather for youth conference

Sixty youths from the Atlantic City and Pleasantville area attended a conference Dec. 7 geared to sway them from using drugs, alcohol and tobacco, thanks to sponsorships from the Atlantic City Municipal Alliance, Pleasantville Municipal Alliance, Borgata Heart and Soul Foundation, Rites of Passage Programs and the Atlantic County Council of Youth Programs.

The “Too Smart to Start” Youth Awareness conference had seven workshops on “No Man Is an Island” (team building), “Building on Your Foundation” (African-American history), “What’s in Your Body?” (facts about drug abuse), “The Brain” (getting the most out of your most valuable resource), “Choices” (morals), “Strengthening Within” (building self-esteem) and “Dream Journey” (goal setting).

After each workshop, the youths competed in related activities and quizzes. They attended an awards dinner afterward to receive their certificates of completion and to hear who was to be named the overall winner of all the activities. Tied for the win were the Blue Team-Atlantic City PAL, and the White Team-Pleasantville Municipal Alliance. The other teams participating were Youth Exposure, the Lavender, Green and Red teams; S.H.E. Inspire, the Pink Team; Rites of Passage Class 30, the Black Team; and Rites of Passage Alumni, the Orange Team.

Bank of America gives $7,500 to JFS

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $7,500 grant to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, designated for nutrition services.

This funding will help provide access to critical food supplies and services to feed individuals, children and families. The Food Pantry, serving about 2,000 families annually, is an essential resource that provides hearty meal options and helps meet the needs of the community. The pantry is open five days a week providing nourishing goods such as peanut butter, tuna fish, canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, cereal and hearty soup. JFS hosts food drives through the year that help supplement pantry resources, but with needs constantly increasing, food drives are not enough, and funding is needed. This funding is part of Bank of America’s intensified philanthropic focus on three core issues vital to the economic health of communities — housing, jobs and hunger.

Jewish Family Service serves about 3,500 local residents per year through 17 service areas. Call 609-822-1108 or see jfsatlantic.org.

DAV hosts Christmas party, awards dinner

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10 of Atlantic City and the Military Order of the Purple Heart Cape-Atlantic Counties Chapter 155 held their annual joint Christmas party along with DAV awards presentation Dec. 5 at Fred and Ethel’s in Smithville.

The coordinator for the dinner was past DAV Commander Richard Rotondo, and for the awards program, DAV Awards Committee Chairman Don Walls and co-Chair Jerry Crosson along with DAV Commander Bryan Roscoe. They nominated seven volunteers for exceptional support to the DAV mission of serving America’s sick and disabled veterans and their families.

The honorees were: Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles, Sam I. Haspel, John J. Palmentieri, Rich Rotondo and Buzz Will. Herb Davis received an Outstanding Volunteer Citation and Paula Straub, CRNP, and Jerry Crosson received a Congressional Recognition. Straub also received the Distinguished Service Award and special state Assembly resolution written and issued by Assemblyman Chris Brown.

A special historical report and Pearl Harbor remembrance was narrated by Past Commander John Palmentieri, World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

A.C. Electric offers Gift of Energy Program

This holiday season, you can help Atlantic City Electric customers who are having difficulty paying their energy bills by giving them the Gift of Energy.

To purchase a Gift of Energy, visit atlanticcityelectric.com and click “Gift of Energy.” You also can pay for a Gift of Energy in person at one of the company’s participating Atlantic City Electric Customer Service Centers. The program works like this:

Visit atlanticcityelectric.com and click “Gift of Energy” and fill out the contact form, or visit an Atlantic City Electric Customer Service Center

Provide customer service with the name and address of the person for whom you’re buying the Gift of Energy

Make a payment via check or credit card on that person’s account

Through Jan. 15, 2014, participants will receive a holiday greeting card to give to that special someone, compliments of Atlantic City Electric

Where to buy a Gift of Energy:

Atlantic City Customer Service Center: 2430 Atlantic Ave., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Cape May Court House Customer Service Center: 420 Route 9, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Egg Harbor Township Customer Service Center: 6814 Tilton Road, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

For more information, see atlanticcityelectric.com.

Mike's Bikes Holiday Drive collects bicycles

On Dec. 9, Santa arranged for this year’s shipment of Mike’s Bikes for kids of all ages and sizes to be placed on two trucks when Allstate agents Mike Murray, Mike Beer, Mike McDyer and Ken “Mike” Kelly kicked off the 13th annual 2013 Mike’s Bikes Holiday Drive.

Helping was Community Quest Inc., a nonprofit in Egg Harbor Township that provides housing and employment services to people with special needs. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program also was essential in getting the bikes delivered. The Marines arrived with two trucks to carry the bikes to a distribution center in Burlington County, and 180 children will have brand-new bikes to call their own on Christmas morning.

GLBT Alliance supports women’s center

The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance recently presented many unwrapped toys and a donation check from its members in the amount of $500 to the Atlantic County Women's Center.

The annual GLBT Holiday Mixer took place Dec. 3 at Gallagher's Steakhouse in Atlantic City. Acting President Patrick McCormick said, “We’re thrilled to be able to make this donation to help children and their moms. Children are our future; we realize it all starts with a good and loving parent. The AC GLBT Alliance is proud to be a part of the community and to contribute in any way, big or small, to an organization that does such needed work. It demonstrates that we are partners in making our region the best place to live and work for everyone.”

To become a member or for more information, see acglbt.org.

Operation Help brings thousands in donations, plus tons of food

Longport Media’s 103.7 WMGM Rocks’ Operation Help event and 1400 AM WOND’s Barbara Altman together raised more than $12,735 and 2.2 tons of food and supplies for families in need this holiday season.

The events took place Thanksgiving week and benefited the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry and St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Atlantic City.

Celebrating its sixth year, Operation Help, led by morning-show team JoJo and Scotty, rallied listeners to raise 2.2 tons of food and supplies for the food bank, while they camped outside Chickie’s and Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township for five days, accepting donations 24-hours per day. Don Williams, Bob Burns and Pinky Kravitz spearheded a donation of 100 turkeys by George Siganos, of Siganos Property Management, and his family.

K-Loc Education Center offers events

The K-Loc Education Center, 904 S. Main Street, Pleasantville, is offering health-related and educational events.

American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider CPR and CPR/First Aid/AED Training for daycare and home health care providers recertification classes, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 20 or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 21, fee $65-$100 per person for a two year American Heart Association certificate. Call or text Vivian Lockett at 843-467-0068 to register.

The K-Loc Healthy Kids Fitness program is now offering individual, group or families classes to improve their lifestyle and healthy living. The Choose to Move, Train and Lose program is designed for people who prefer a one on one class with a personal trainer on their own schedule. Free fitness evaluation, participants can be referred to staff nutritionist for consultation and healthy eating evaluation. Regular class fees are $5 per session.

Classes are held at K-Loc Education Center and Personal Training Studio, 904 South Main St., Pleasantville (American Legion building). Call Kyle Lockett at 609-674-7605 or Vivian Lockett at 843-467-0068 to schedule an appointment.

Church hosting Christmas Eve worship services

Egg Harbor City Moravian Church will hold two traditional Christmas Eve Worship Services on Dec. 24.

At both services, lighted beeswax candles with red trim are handed to worshipers. The 5 p.m. worship is especially for children, and the 7 p.m. worship is for everyone.

The church is located at 235 Boston Ave., Egg Harbor City. Call 609-965-1920.

Charity League recognizes members, friends

On Dec. 9, members of the Atlantic County Charity League made their annual visit to the Atlantic City Day Nursery on Boston Avenue to help decorate the tree in the foyer of the school.

One of the charities that the Charity League supports, the Atlantic City Day Nursery has benefited for more than 50 years from the donations made to them by members who work diligently each year to raise money from the sale of sequined Christmas pins. The pins, sold at the Christmas Mart held in November each year, have helped to raise more than $138,000 and support nine agencies that benefit the women and children of Atlantic County.

On Dec. 10, league members thanked the friends who helped sequin the 6500 handmade Christmas pins sold this year. The luncheon, held at the Smithville Inn, was well attended.

‘Joseph Project’ planned in Margate

The Beth El Abram and Rose Weiss Hebrew School, under the supervision of teacher Tamar Spanier, once again will sponsor “The Joseph Project.”

Spanier and students go to local stores to purchase new coats, gloves, hats and other winter clothing essentials for adults and children who otherwise would not have these items. The community’s assistance is requested in sponsoring needy families in the area — donors are asked to bring or mail a monetary donation to Beth El Synagogue to help purchase new coats. The coats will be distributed by Jewish Family Service, which helps the entire community, regardless of nationality or religion.

Checks should be made payable to “Beth El Youth Account” and mailed to Beth El Synagogue, P.O. Box 3133, Margate, NJ 08402. For more information, call 609-823-2725.

Tickets on sale for Chefs at Shore

Give a taste of the area’s finest restaurants this season, while giving back to a good cause — the organizers of the annual Chefs at the Shore are making tickets available early specifically for holiday gifts.

The 2014 Chefs at the Shore fundraiser is scheduled for 5:30 to 9 p.m. June 19 at Historic Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. The event showcases some of the area’s finest food while it funds educational programming at the Atlantic City Aquarium. Proceeds also go to fund chef educational programs and scholarships for culinary students for the Professional Chefs Association.

Tickets are $50 each and will be provided in a box suitable for gift-wrapping. Tickets are available at the Atlantic City Aquarium, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, or by contacting michelle@acaquarium.com or 609-348-2880, ext. 25.

Military tutor program to be on NJTV

NJTV’s “Classroom Close-up” this month will feature Terry Dougherty, a Galloway Township teacher and graduate student at Richard Stockton College, for tutoring children whose parents are in the military.

Dougherty, who is Atlantic County’s Teacher of the Year, winner of the Great American Teach-Off and a Coast Guard wife and mom, started the free program to help military children who change schools frequently and develop gaps in their learning. Dougherty teaches third grade at the Roland Rogers Elementary School in Galloway and is a student in Stockton’s Master of Arts in Education program. She received her bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education at Stockton.

The program, which was featured in October’s Family Circle magazine, runs in the summers at Stockton. The tutors are teachers from Atlantic County school districts and college students who volunteer their time and gain experience. The special, “Schools Supporting Soldiers’ Kids,” will air on NJTV on Jan. 19 at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 and 7:30 p.m.; and on Dec. 21 and Jan. 25 at 5:30 a.m.

Food pantry closed Christmas, New Year

The Main Street Food Pantry in the First United Methodist Church at 6011 Main St. in Mays Landing, which is usually open on Wednesdays, will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Clients will be permitted to pick up food on an alternate week. For further information, call the church office at 609-625-9446.

Bank supports Toys for Tots

Ocean City Home Bank will support the Toys for Tots Drive throughout the holiday season as a drop-off point at 11 of its branch locations.

US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation is the fundraising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

The primary goal of the Foundation is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.

Ocean City Home Bank has Toys for Tots drop off locations in Ocean City, Linwood, Marmora, Egg Harbor Township, Margate, Ventnor, Northfield, Galloway, Mays Landing, Egg Harbor City, and Hammonton. Toys will be accepted at the branches through Dec. 19.

DVDs requested for troops

AMVETS Post 911 in Somers Point is requesting used DVDs of movies to send to U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas.

Donations of good condition DVDs will be accepted at the following locations: Chester’s Pastry Pantry Bakery, 506 New Road,Somers Point; Bennett Chevrolet, 6721 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township. Cash donations will be accepted to pay for mailing DVDs. Checks made payable to “AMVETS Post 911 NJ" can be sent to AMVETS Post 911 NJ, P.O. Box 413, Somers Point, NJ 08244.

A.C. Electric warns of Green Dot scam

Atlantic City Electric reminds home and business owners to practice safety when someone claiming to represent a business contacts them in person or by phone, especially during the holiday season.

Recently, Atlantic City Electric was alerted to a “Green Dot” scam. Information from law-enforcement officials and other utilities indicates that scammers are targeting not only residents, but also businesses. It has been reported that scammers are telling business owners that the location’s electric service account is delinquent and it will be shut off for nonpayment unless the business purchases a Green Dot Money Pack for a specific amount dictated by the scammer from stores including CVS, Rite Aid and Wawa. Victims then receive instructions to call a scammer phone number with the card’s account number and pin. Once the scammer obtains the card’s identifying information, the value is downloaded, swept and stolen. These transactions are untraceable.

Many companies, including Atlantic City Electric, contact customers in person or via phone for various reasons. If someone claims to represent any company, it is important for customers to take precautions to verify the person is affiliated with the company, especially if that person is requesting an immediate payment.

When addressing past due accounts, Atlantic City Electric never endorses a specific form of payment. Instead, multiple payment options are always given to the customer.

If someone calls claiming to represent a certain company, customers should ask them to verify their identity and affiliation. If customers have any doubt about the validity of a person’s claim to represent Atlantic City Electric, they should call the company immediately at 800-642-3780.

For more information about Atlantic City Electric, see atlanticcityelectric.com.

Master Gardener training offered

People who enjoy gardening and would like to take their skills to the next level are sought for the Atlantic County Master Gardener Program sponsored by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Applications are being taken on a first-come, first-served basis. No experience necessary. The first training will begin Jan. 7.

This is a unique program that we are pleased to offer to all residents of Atlantic County. For further information and/or an application, contact Mona Bawgus or Anita Wagner at 625-0056, ext. 6123, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit rutgers-atlantic.org/garden.

Artist residency grants available to schools

The Artists-in-Education Consortium announces the 41st annual Artists-in-Education Residency Grant Program.

Any New Jersey public, private, charter or parochial school serving grades pre-K to 12 is eligible to apply for funding to bring an artist-in-residence to their school. Grants range from $6,000 to $10,000 and support residencies for 20 days or more.

The mission of the Artists-in-Education Program is to make the arts a basic part of a sound, quality education for all students in pre-K through 12th grade, and to provide quality professional development for teachers through long-term residencies with professional teaching artists. The AIE Program is a cosponsored project of Arts Horizons, Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, with additional funding provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

AIE residencies focus on direct learning about the arts and the processes of creating art, including the skills, techniques and concepts of the art form. Residencies are offered in all disciplines including the visual, literary and performing arts and at all grade levels through the AIE Residency Grant Program.

The deadline for applications is March 3, 2014. Technical assistance workshops are offered in December and January to assist schools in preparing their application. For more information, and to access program guidelines and application, see njaie.org.

Electric bill assistance available

Atlantic City Electric reminds customers that they have options to apply for energy assistance.

The TRUE Grant program assists customers who are ineligible for low-income programs by providing as much as $750 toward their Atlantic City Electric bill. See ahanjtrue.org or call 732-982-8710 for more information.

The Universal Service Fund helps ensure energy bills are more affordable for eligible customers. See energyassistance.nj.gov or call 800-510-3102.

The New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services (New Jersey SHARES) program provides assistance to New Jersey customers in need of temporary help paying their energy bills. New Jersey SHARES is a statewide, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides grants to pay the energy and utility bills of households in need, through a statewide network of more than 250 community-based social service agencies. Visit njshares.org or call 866-657-4273.

The federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides help for numerous households each year. Call 800-510-3102 or see energyassistance.nj.gov.

Lifeline is a utility assistance program that offers $225 to people who meet certain income guidelines. This benefit includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent. Call 800-792-9745 for information.

For more information about energy assistance programs, visit nj211.org or call 211 — New Jersey’s non-emergency helpline, available 24/7 in the state.

Customers also can contact Atlantic City Electric’s Customer Care Center at 800-642-3780 and ask about Budget Billing or register for My Account, a web-based interactive tool that is free and easy to use. My Account provides customers with a detailed analysis of their specific electric use and offers ways to save energy and save money on their monthly energy bill.

Shore EMS Department begins food, toy drive

Shore Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services Department is collecting toys and nonperishable food items to brighten the holiday season for those in need.

All donations from the EMS Department’s sixth annual Holiday Food and Toy Drive will be given to Toys for Tots and the Food Pantry of Somers Point. New, unused toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at locations throughout the community, including:

EMS Department headquarters, New York Avenue and Center Street, Somers Point

EMS Linwood Station, 515 W. Patcong Ave., Linwood

Shore Medical Center Cafeteria, 100 Medical Center Way, Somers Point

Big Lots and Kmart, Somers Point Shopping Plaza, Route 9, Somers Point

Tilton Market, 1524 Tilton Road, Northfield

Pee Wee’s Clothing, 199 New Road, Suite 18, Linwood

The EMS Department has collected more than $24,000 in non-perishable food, toys and monetary donations since 2008. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 20. For more information, call Steve Grecco at 609-653-7061.

Village by the Shore offers events for December

Village by the Shore, a Jewish Family Service initiative for boomers and older adults, is hosting various workshops and events this December.

Join Nurse Educator Maggie Weaver for free diabetes education seminar from 1 to 2:20 p.m. Dec. 20. Learn to manage diabetes, feel well and live healthier. Hear about do’s and don’ts of diabetes management. Complimentary seminar held at JFS, 607 N. Jerome Ave., Margate. RSVP to Lisa Walker at 609-822-1109.

For more information on Village by the Shore or to attend an event, call 609-822-1109 or email villagejfs@jfsatlantic.org. To learn more about agency events, services and programs, see jfsatlantic.org.

VA mobile medical clinic available

The Wilmington VA Medical Center’s Mobile Outreach Clinic will be available on the Richard Stockton College campus monthly during the academic year. The next date will be in January. The mobile units offer the following services to veterans:

Primary care services including history and physicals, management of acute and chronic illnesses, women’s health, and patient education

Ancillary services: Immunizations (including flu and pneumonia vaccines), lab services (including blood draws, urine specimens, etc.)

Social worker available for assistance with eligibility/enrollment, mental health referrals, and identification of resources available to veterans.

Sign up to spay, neuter pets for $10

Spaces are available now for a state sterilization funding program available to qualified New Jersey residents.

The program begins Jan. 1, 2014 (while funds last) at participating veterinary offices to help qualified residents spay or neuter their pets for only $10. Because spaces go quickly, Shore Veterinarians encourages residents to sign up early in December for the program before all the slots are taken. Shore Veterinarians participates in this state program at all four of their locations in Seaville, Williamstown, Hammonton and Egg Harbor Township.

Residents can spay and neuter pets at various veterinary offices for only $10 if they qualify for the state sterilization funding program. Animals must be current with their rabies shot, or will be required to vaccinate the day of the surgery. These residents must receive one of the following:

Food Stamps


GPA: General Public Assistance

Rental Assistance

AFDC: Aid to Families with Dependent Children,

LUC: Lifeline Utility Credit

Tenants Lifeline Assistance

SSI: Supplemental Security Income or

PAAD: Pharmaceutical Assistance to aged and Disabled

To see if you qualify or for more information on spay and neuter assistance, please call Shore Veterinarians at 609-272-8777 for Atlantic County residents, 609-561-2802 for Hammonton residents, or 609-390-9113 for Cape May County residents.

MAPS Foundation presents holiday events

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel will host the MAPS Foundation Holiday Dance Festival and Sounds of the Season, helping those who have Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Dancers from local studios will perform to holiday music beginning at noon in the Atlantic Club’s Theater every Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 21. Local school choirs will present Sounds of the Season each weekday to Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. in the same location. There will be hand-decorated wreaths, stuffed animals and small gift items for sale during all performances, as well as free parking.

For more information, call Rose Silverman at 609-822-9093.

Jazz scholarship available

The Somers Point Jazz Society has announced the creation of a $1,000 jazz scholarship program for high school student musicians from Atlantic and Cape May counties.

The purpose is to help students gain experience with a qualified jazz educator. For an application, contact the Somers Point Jazz Society at 609-927-6677 or through spjazz.org. An MP3 or CD sampling of the student’s work must accompany the application. Applications should be sent to P.O. Box 329, Somers Point, NJ 08244. A scholarship presentation will be held in May.

This program is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Local Arts Grant administered by Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and Shore Medical Center.

Latkes, Lo Mein and Laughter at JCC

At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 25, the Milton and Betty Katz Jewish Community Center in Margate will host an evening of kosher Chinese cuisine, latkes and a comedy show featuring the antics of funny man Dennis Ross.

This event is $18/members and $21/nonmembers in advance, or $25/members and $28/nonmembers day-of. Spaces are limited Call Josh Cutler, JCC program director, for more information or to reserve tickets at 609-822-1167, ext. 138, or JCutler@jccatlantic.org.

Food drive at county library branches

The Atlantic County Library System is accepting nonperishable food items for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch through Feb. 28.

Any unopened, unexpired nonperishable food is appreciated, but the most needed items include: canned fish and meat, such as tuna, salmon, chicken, ham and Spam; shelf-stable milk, boxed meals, such as pasta, potatoes, rice and cereal; canned or packaged meals, such as mac and cheese, chili, stews, and meaty soups; peanut butter in plastic jars; and canned vegetables and fruit.

Food items may be dropped off during regular hours at any Atlantic County Library System location. Branches are located in Brigantine, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, Hammonton, Longport, Mays Landing, Pleasantville, Somers Point, and Ventnor. For a Bookmobile or Buena Community Reading Center schedule, see atlanticlibrary.org.

JCC plans winter camp for kids

This December, the Katz JCC in Margate will hold a camp for kids in grades K-4 during public school’s winter break. The camp will run for five days — Dec. 24, 26, 27, 30 and 31.

Camp days will consist of swimming, nature, sports, games, cooking, art projects and more. Campers should pack a bathing suit, towel and dairy (non-meat) lunch every day.

The daily early bird cost is $55 per day for members and $65 for nonmembers by Dec. 20. After Dec. 20, the price will increase to $65/$75 per day. The five-day price is $240/$285 before Dec. 20. Morning care (7:30 to 9 a.m.) and afternoon care (4 to 6 p.m.) is available at a cost of $10 per child/per session. For more information, contact Josh Cutler at 609-822-1167, ext. 138, or email Camp@jccatlantic.org.

Village by the Shore now accepting members

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties has announced that its newest initiative, Village by the Shore, is now accepting members.

This nondenominational program offers services and socializing for Atlantic County adults 50 and older through a concierge style. People can now take advantage of a special introductory rate of $18 per month or $180 a year. The Village is not a physical place, but a movement enhancing the people’s lives to get the most from their community at any stage of life. One call offers “one-stop shopping” with access and referrals to preferred service providers, specialists and social services. Benefits include resource and referral concierge, visits, phone check-ins, care coordination and transportation as well as local lectures, concerts, workshops and classes.

For more information on Village by the Shore or to get involved, call 609-822-1109 or email villagejfs@jfsatlantic.org. To learn more about agency events, services and programs, see jfsatlantic.org.

Support groups aid people affected by Sandy

New Jersey Hope and Healing, which is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, is sponsoring support groups to provide information, link to resources, manage disaster-related issues and stress for people affected by Hurricane Sandy at the following locations:

6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Andrew By the Sea, 936 Baltic Ave., Atlantic City

6 p.m. Tuesdays at the Brigantine Community Center, 265 42nd St., Brigantine

6 p.m. Sundays at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 306 S. Franklin Blvd., Pleasantville

8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays at Ventnor Coffee, 108 N. Dorset Ave., Ventnor

6 p.m. Tuesdays at Ventnor Library, 6500 Ventnor Ave., Ventnor

6 p.m. Thursdays at Milton and Betty Katz JCC, 501 Jerome Ave., Margate

The program ends Feb. 14.

Library offers free digital media streaming

The Atlantic County Library System now offers IndieFlix, a new digital media streaming service. With IndieFlix, library members can stream and watch thousands of documentaries, shorts, independent and foreign films free of charge with no checkouts, returns or waiting times.

To watch IndieFlix films, viewers need an Atlantic County Library System card and an Internet-connected device such as a computer, smart phone, or smart TV. IndieFlix can also be viewed on tablets, including iPads and Kindles. Multiple users can watch the same film on different devices at the same time.

To learn more about IndieFlix or to get started, visit the library’s IndieFlix web page at atlanticlibrary.org/indieflix.

Thrift shop seeks winter garments

Kathleen’s Closet Thrift Store located in the Festival at Hamilton, 4450 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, is looking for gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots. These items will be available for sale at bargain prices with proceeds supporting the hunger relief efforts of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Donations can be dropped off 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays at the Festival at Hamilton. Call 609-241-7323.

Gilda’s Club to hold writing contest

Gilda’s Club South Jersey is calling all teen writers and poets for its seventh annual “It’s Always Something” Writing Contest. If you have survived cancer, have watched a family member or friend deal with cancer, or have watched someone your own age go through cancer, we want to hear your story.

Needed are honest and personal essays or poetry from students in ninth through 12th grades. Essays must be between 500 and 1,000 words. Essays and poems should be typed and double spaced. Writings will not be returned. Writings, along with a completed contest entry form, must be postmarked by March 14, 2014. Winners will be selected by May 9, 2014. For more information and a contest entry form, contact Beth at Beth@gildasclubsouthjersey.org.

Stockton to host Pinelands Short Course

Richard Stockton College will host the 25th annual Pinelands Short Course on March 8, 2014, a daylong educational event that explores the unique ecology, culture and history of New Jersey’s Pinelands.

The course is open to the public and includes sessions on topics such as wildlife, plants, land-use/recreation and history and culture. Nonprofit organizations and other groups may distribute information and sell Pinelands-themed books and artwork in an exhibition gallery. New Jersey educators who attend can earn professional development credits through the state Department of Education. The course will take place in Stockton’s Campus Center and in the new Unified Science Center, set to open this fall.

Tickets are $40, with discounts available for senior citizens and students. The schedule and brochure will be available in December at nj.gov/pinelands.

Multi-Care Center seeks volunteers

Looking to give back? Our Lady’s Multi-Care Center in Pleasantville needs volunteers who are at least 14 years old.

Opportunities include: helping with resident outings, helping office staff, playing board games and bingo, card games, serving meals, friendly visits, welcoming guests, playing music or singing for guests, transporting residents to and from daily Mass at the on-site chapel, and arts and crafts. Call Shalini at 609-677-6369.

Our Lady’s is located at 1100 Clematis Ave., Pleasantville.

Small Sandy Survivors group set

New Jersey Hope and Healing presents Small Sandy Survivors, a creative, interactive workshop that offers support and education to children ages 5-10 who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The events are free. Counselors are available to meet with parents during the workshop. To find a workshop in your area, call 609 652-3800, ext. 308. New Jersey Hope and Healing is sponsored by the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, through a FEMA grant in partnership with Mental Health Association in New Jersey.