Aiding Oklahoma

Employees at Durham School Services in Little Egg Harbor Township filled a school bus with supplies for families impacted by the Oklahoma tornadoes. Three school bus drivers employed by the company volunteered to drive the bus to Oklahoma at the end of June.

"Our employees are truly paying it forward," said General Manager Patty Manzoni, who oversees Durham's student transportation services in Little Egg Harbor. "Last fall, 17 of our employees lost everything in the hurricane. We discussed the Oklahoma situation as a group and decided this was the right thing to do."

Drivers Jim Sheridan, of Lacey Township, Ken Naylor, of Tuckerton, and Don Lelion, of Little Egg Harbor, mapped out the 1,400-mile, two-day journey to the Oklahoma City Rescue Mission.

Local schools helped with the donations by sending home a flier with students and posting details of the Oklahoma relief project on their websites. Items were collected over a few weeks spanning from late May to mid-June and included personal hygiene supplies and kitchen items.

AHEART baby shower

AHEART Ministries in Atlantic City is collecting baby items for needy families and will hold its Third Annual American Children in Crisis Mega Baby Shower on July 25. Participants are invited to decorate and host a table with all of the items they have collected. The event will include food, games and prizes. For information on how to participate email AHEARTMinistries609@gmail.com or contact baby shower coordinator Sabrina Showell at 609-553-3682.

Volunteers rebuild field

On June 30, 75 representatives and volunteers from Jaws Youth Playbook, the Atlantic County Long Term Recovery Group, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Atlantic County, Americorps and the Ventnor community rebuilt Titus Field Recreation Complex in Ventnor. The community recreation field that was damaged last fall during Superstorm Sandy.

Jaws Youth Playbook, the foundation of former Philadelphia Eagle Ron Jaworski, donated $30,000 to support the rebuilding effort - which included repairing the refreshment stand, field house, batting cages, shed, fences and scoreboard. In addition, funds will be used to purchase new field house equipment including refrigerators and ranges, and replace athletic equipment lost in the storm.

Credit Union Run

Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union hosted its fourth annual 5K in May Run/Walk for the Marianne DiNofrio Pancreatic Cancer Research Foundation in May at Birch Grove Park in Northfield. The event had 215 participants and raised $12,000, which was split between AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute and the Research Division at Fox Chase Cancer Center for pancreatic cancer research.

Several area businesses donated products and services and DJ Joe Molineaux volunteered his time to bring excitement to the event.

Volunteers rebuild home

Volunteers from Fannie Mae in June helped rebuild an Atlantic City home damaged by Hurricane Sandy as part of the 7 Days to SERVE project in which 2,500 Fannie Mae workers from across the country worked on projects in their communities. The group coordinated with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and the Atlantic County Long Term Recovery Group on the project.

United Way Day of Service

More than 130 volunteers dispersed to 21 projects and events throughout Ocean County to participate in United Way of Ocean County's Day of Action event on June 20, 21, and 24.

The goal of Day of Action is to invite the community to make a difference through volunteering for the local charities that partner with United Way of Ocean County. Local charities identified projects that they may not have the resources or time to complete, and were then matched with volunteers who had the skill sets needed to get the work done.

Projects included building 20 wooden picnic tables for the Jersey Shore Council - Boy Scouts of America in Barnegat, and painting two bathrooms at one of Family Promise's temporary homeless shelters, where clients are helped to gain self-sufficiency.

(Items for the Giving Back page should be e-mailed to givingback@pressofac.com)