It’s time to give back to the people who give to others all year.
That’s the theme behind a movement to create a national #GivingTuesday after Thanksgiving to highlight the work of nonprofit and charitable groups and hopefully raise some money.
A #GivingTuesday website has been set up to draw attention to the day and the nonprofit groups that might benefit. About 6,500 groups have signed up so far this year, up from 2,500 last year, when more than $10 million was raised, according to the group’s website.
The Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Galloway Township has registered and is promoting its staff’s community-service projects as well as the work of the center. Mary Joyce Perskie, vice president for marketing and business development, said the organization wanted to try a new way to reach potential donors.
The institute has not yet received donations, but the Bacharach Facebook page has received 14,000 views since joining.
“The annual end-of-year mail appeal is becoming a thing of the past,” Perskie said. “Printing and postage alone make it prohibitively expensive. By joining #GivingTuesday, and promoting it on Facebook and through email blasts, we hope to reach a broader audience.”
The Press of Atlantic City is helping share the holiday wishes of area nonprofits. We asked local groups to tell us what they need this holiday season, and a dozen responded.
While many of the needs are tangible items, such as toys for children or food for families, some groups could use new furniture, Boy Scout uniforms or a tech-savvy volunteer to set up computers.
After a busy weekend of buying on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a chance to remember the true spirit of the season and act on it.
Here’s a list of what local nonprofit groups hope to find under their tree this year. Volunteers in Medicine of Cape May County even put its wishes in rhyme:
VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE
’Twas the month before Christmas
And all through the county
Are people who could use
A little more of life’s bounty.
While health care’s hung up
In endless debate
Sick people still need help.
Their illnesses won’t wait.
Luckily there’s VIM.
Volunteers with big hearts
Who help those in need
And mend all their parts.
But VIM needs help, too!
And not just your dough
(Though we won’t turn it down)
We also want you to know:
VIM can ALWAYS use
More doctors and nurses
Who give of their time
Instead of their purses.
Plus phone staff. Plus techies
Who fix computer woes.
Plus lawn mowers. And someone
To plow when it snows.
Do you have a gift
For encouraging donations?
Then come down to VIM
And share your vocation!
Or keep our staff fueled
With your donated snacks.
K-Cups, popcorn and nuts.
Plus Diet Coke for our Dr. Tac
And if you are thinking
You don’t have what it takes.
That’s rubbish! We even need
A place to store our rakes.
What we’re trying to say
In words not so few
Is we can do so much more.
But not without YOU.
So if this holiday season
You can spare some wealth
Donate to VIM
Give the gift of good health.
Jacqueline Meiluta, executive director, Volunteers in Medicine of Cape May County, 423 N. Route 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. 609-463-2846. www.vimcmc.org
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Believe it or not, one of the greatest “needs” the Boy Scouts of America has during the holidays are new uniforms. Hundreds of children don’t join because their families feel they can’t afford it. Uniforms provide so much more than a place for a child to hang his merit badges. Those badges represent accomplishments and goals achieved, and the children get a very real sense of pride in being able to display them. It shows they’re part of a team, and one with a great purpose!
Jim Gillick, Scout executive and CEO, Jersey Shore Council, Boy Scouts of America. 732-349-1037, ext. 12, or JGillick@JerseyShore-BSA.org
The Salvation Army invites residents to start their own Red Kettle donation campaign online at www.onlineredkettle.org
This year, the Salvation Army is trying to provide toys for more than 2,000 children and food for their families at Christmas. The Salvation Army is always in need of volunteers. During the holiday season, there are food boxes to pack, kettles to staff and the distribution of Christmas toys.
Call the Salvation Army Atlantic City at 609-344-0660 or stop by 22 S. Texas Ave., Atlantic City, and ask for Capt. John and Tricia Cornelius, Corps Commanding Officer.
One of our residential community-living group homes in Atlantic County is in need of landscaping to beautify the exterior of the home. We are always in need of new computers. Contact Elizabeth Denham, senior vice president of program operations, 6814 Tilton Road, Northfield, 609-646-0388, ext. 201, or www.CQInc.org
Literacy Volunteers Association Cape-Atlantic has been very good this year. Our staff and devoted volunteer tutors continue to dedicate themselves to providing free instruction to adults who want to improve their literacy skills.
Our wish list: Handy elves to remodel a bathroom or kitchen or both at LVA headquarters; new laptops for tutor-training workshops and student computer-assisted learning; Staples or W.B. Mason gift cards for office, tutor-training and tutoring supplies; new or repaired LVA sign in front of LVA headquarters.
We also need volunteers to fill our training workshops. Volunteer tutors are matched with adult students in their local communities and help them with their English language and/or reading and writing skills.
Call 609-383-3377 or email email@example.com to get more information.
The Atlantic County Women’s Center is in need of new and unwrapped children’s toys and clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts, books, games, DVDs and gift cards for our Holiday Shop Initiative to provide support to women and families during the holiday season.
We would also like to wish for continued support of our shelter-renovation project. This would include donations to help pay for commercial-grade appliances for the remodeling of the kitchen in our domestic-violence shelter. The Women’s Center is also in need of crisis volunteers.
Contact Ellen Brophy at 609-601-9925, ext. 209.
Gilda’s Club South Jersey is in need of tablets, iPads and touch-screen laptops. We are also looking for new (not used) living room furniture for one of our group meeting rooms. Of course, cash is always greatly appreciated as we must raise nearly $900,000 a year to provide our program free of charge!
Contact Lauren Crenshaw, special projects director, Gilda’s Club South Jersey at Wawa Center, 700 New Road, Linwood, NJ 08221. 609-926-2699.
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE
Jewish Family Service is in need of gift cards (McDonald’s and CVS are the top requested) as well as adolescent gifts such as sports equipment, art supplies and games.
Contact Beth Joseph-Arentz, director of communications and donor relations, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, 607 N. Jerome Ave., Margate City, NJ 08402. 609-822-1108, ext. 140.
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Every day, thousands of cancer patients need assistance getting a ride to treatment. The American Cancer Society Road to Recovery Program provides free rides for people who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
Volunteer drivers must have a valid driver’s license for the state where they live. They must also have a safe, reliable vehicle and proof of automobile insurance. Volunteer drivers must have a good driving history and be in good health. Driver coordinators help schedule the rides and can set their own schedules to work.
For more information, call 800-227-2345.
The Southern Shore Chapter of American Red Cross’ wish for the holidays is more volunteers.
We are in need of disaster volunteers to respond to everyday disaster calls and provide basic emergency needs. Blood volunteers help out at local blood drives in our community. Health and safety volunteers teach CPR and basic first aid. Serving armed forces volunteers support our military and their families. Youth volunteers can start at ages 11 to 18.
Contact Maureen Buehl at Maureen.Buehl@redcross.org or call 609-646-8330. Sign up online at http://www.redcross.org/nj/pleasantville/volunteer
FAMILY SERVICE ASSOCIATION
Our wish at Family Service Association is to help those who sometimes get forgotten. Some of these people reside in boardinghouses and group homes, and many do not have family or social support systems. Some holiday items on their wish lists are:
Various hygiene products for males and females: deodorant, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, perfume/cologne, body spray, nail polish.
Clothing items for males and females: hats, scarves, sweat pants (XL, 1X, 2X), sweat shirts (XL, 1X, 2X), socks, gloves.
Household items: blankets, pillows, sheets, batteries.
Gift cards to area stores: Wawa, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wal-Mart, ShopRite.
The Bargain Boutique, Family Service Association’s thrift store at 3073 English Creek Ave. in Egg Harbor Township provides items to families at no cost. We wish donors would adopt a family for the holidays or year-round. For $50, a mother and child can get toys and clothes. For $100, a family of four can get clothes and toys. The Bargain Boutique also needs volunteer warehouse help.
We are also looking for a volunteer graphic artist to assist with new technologies and design work including web content and design.
Contact Family Service Association at 609-569-0239.
Cape Assist provides prevention programs and treatment for individuals and families in Cape May County. Our wellness programs, parent programs and after-school center have a common need: $10 or $25 gift cards for food that can be used all year-round. Although many groups set up pantries and gift baskets with turkeys and can goods, it is in January and February when families still need food.
Covenant House works with those 18 to 21 who find themselves homeless with no safer alternative than the streets. Our crisis shelter in Atlantic City is accessible 24/7 to young men, women and, most unfortunately, babies.
We have a number of children who want to further their education. We want to establish an education fund that people could make a donation to or even sponsor a specific student preparing for their GED, or enrolled in high school, trade school or college.
Contact Brian Nelson, South Jersey site director, Covenant House NJ-Atlantic City Site, 929 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City. 609-348-4070, ext. 2918. firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate canned and packaged goods (no glass). Sponsor a food drive. Buy Wawa hoagie coupons for $5 each.
Support Kathleen’s Closet Thrift Shop at the Festival at Hamilton, 4450 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing. Proceeds benefit the food bank.
Volunteer to help register clients, assist clients, pack food boxes, stock shelves, sort food, help at the thrift store, do cleanup.
Contact volunteer coordinator Maria Bocelle at 609 383-8843, ext. 114, or email email@example.com. Community Food Bank of New Jersey, 6735 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234.
Contact Diane D’Amico: