As the coronavirus causes real disruption to the lives of New Jerseyans, some residents will be disproportionately affected and many service agencies will be critically impacted.
According to Matthew Howard, co-owner of the Iselin-based Howard Center for Wellness, “Whenever there is an incident or disaster, there is a desire to help.” Howard said that people are often quick to put themselves in another person’s position and ask “‘how would I feel if it were me?’, ‘who is in need?’ and ‘is there any way I can make an impact?’.”
And, Howard said the act of giving not only benefits those on the receiving end. “Altruism has a benefit for the person doing the good; we get reward from saying ‘I was able to be effective, to contribute in some way.’”
For those so inclined, there are opportunities to assist those with the greatest need.
This resource guide includes service agencies that are accepting assistance. Readers are encouraged to check back frequently, as the list will be updated regularly. To add your nonprofit organization to the guide, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Red Cross
According to the American Red Cross website (https://www.redcross.org/), there is a “severe blood shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak.” For more information, go to the organization’s site.
This nonprofit’s mission is to “feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.”
1355 Central Parkway S, Suite 100
San Antonio, TX 78232
The nonprofit offers short-term and critical financial assistance, long-term stability and recurring support programs to military families. Operation Homefront president and CEO Gen. John I. Pray Jr. writes on the nonprofit’s website, “As our nation works to cope with the many unknowns, we are grateful for the continued support of those who are very likely facing their own challenges. Simply put, we could not do what we do to support this very special and deserving group of our fellow citizens without your various contributions to our important work. Working together, as we have done for so many years, I know we will be able to help our military families – and each other – as we deal with this crisis.”
The Salvation Army
A statement on the Salvation Army of New Jersey website reads: “We are anticipating, and planning for, an increase in need. Our corps community centers are prepared to assist those in need of emergency services, which includes our feeding programs. With the disproportionate risk to the senior population we are conducting an outreach to senior citizens in communities to ensure that they stay safe and that they have necessary provisions.” Donations can be made on the website.
Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity NJ (MEND NJ)
Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity NJ, also known as MEND NJ, is a not-for-profit organization that supports a network of 20 member food pantries throughout Essex County. The organization leverages volunteers, donors and other partners throughout the community. “During this crisis, needs are changing on a daily basis at each of our member pantries. To ensure the greatest impact and see how you can help, go to the organization’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mendnj/. Donations can be made online at https://mendnj.org.
290 West Mount Pleasant Ave., Suite 1320
Livingston, NJ 07039
Jersey Cares, a nonprofit organization established in 1993, partners with local nonprofits to identify needs and implement volunteer projects to meet these needs. In light of the current health climate, Jersey Cares has created a “Community Response Team” to “respond to needs as they arise.”
For those who have never volunteered with Jersey Cares before, go to https://www.jerseycares.org/ and select the login button in the upper right corner to create a Jersey Cares Volunteer Profile. At the bottom of the registration page, under Additional Information, please check the box, “Yes, receive information on Community Response Team” to register and receive updates on opportunities to provide support.
Angela Cares Inc.
439 MLK Drive
Jersey City, N.J. 07304
The goal of this nonprofit is to “strengthen communities by enhancing the quality of life through empowering our seniors, their caregivers, and the youth.” The group’s mission is to “serve as an advocate and support system for senior citizens, a support system for senior caregivers and a mentor to the youth by educating and empowering them to volunteer.” For more information, go to http://angelacares.org/get-involved/volunteer/.
Flemington Food Pantry
P.O. Box 783
Flemington, NJ 08822
The Flemington Area Food Pantry provides food and personal care items to needy Hunterdon County families regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background.
The pantry reports, “We are going to have need for volunteers and supplies. But, now, because things are changing on a daily basis, we are referring people to our Facebook page, where we will share what manpower/supply needs we have.”
2100 Wescott Drive
Flemington, NJ 08822
Hunterdon Healthcare has established a COVID-19 Support Fund. All donations will be used in Hunterdon Healthcare’s Coronavirus disease response efforts and help those affected in the community.
- N95 masks
- eye goggles
- surgical gloves
- sterile gowns
- comfortable and washable footwear (CROCS/adult sizes),
- video baby monitors
- Food donations for staff (please coordinate with Hunterdon Healthcare so that supply matches the needs)
To schedule an appointment, call 908-788-6405 or email Cconroy@hhsnj.org.
Call the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation 908-788-6141 for all donations of physical items to coordinate drop-off. A staff member will meet individuals at an agreed-upon location on the Hunterdon Medical Center campus to accept donations.
Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey
808 W. State St.
Trenton, N.J. 08618
According to Steve Welch, Canon for Communications, “We are putting together a list of volunteer opportunities and materials needed at our various essential ministries for the homeless and the hungry. At the moment, we’re asking for monetary donations for our “Jubilee Ministries” and have set up a page on our COVID-19 resources site: coronavirus.dioceseofnj.org. This is where we’ll list materials needed and volunteer opportunities, I hope early in the week.”
1880 Princeton Ave.
Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648 – 4518
HomeFront is a nonprofit agency providing a network of services for the poor and homeless in Mercer County, including Princeton, Lawrenceville, Ewing and Trenton. HomeFront programs provide emergency shelter and transitional and affordable housing. The organization’s mission is to meet the immediate needs of food, shelter and safety and to help the troubled families break from the cycle of poverty. HomeFront works with single mothers, single fathers and families with histories of domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse and intergenerational welfare. The organization also works with families who “just cannot make ends meet.” HomeFront programs support literacy, education and employment for both children and parents.
HomeFront, via its website, reports the following needs:
- If you are already out shopping for necessities or are able to shop online, consider a donation of “our most needed items” including: diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6 and Pull-Ups/Easy Ups in all sizes), baby wipes, canned goods (chicken/tuna, ravioli, beef stew, soup, and fruit), baby formula, dry cereal, and shelf stable milk (Horizon/Natrel/Parmalat or powdered milk).
- HomeFront has already spent more than $25,000 in unanticipated and unbudgeted expenses related to preparations for COVID-19. To make a donation, visit www.homefrontnj.org/donate or call 609-989-9417, ext. 107.
319 Maple St, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
The nonprofit Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, is “dedicated to service, quality and outreach for members of the community, especially those who are poor, devalued and in need of help”. Catholic Charities’ programs focus on “the value of family, individual knowledge and the right of every client to be treated with dignity and respect.”
As of March 14, Catholic Charities website indicates that “full services remain available.” The site does not currently list specific volunteer or donation needs.
Elijah’s Promise Community Kitchen & Social Services
211 Livingston Ave.
New Brunswick, N.J. 08901 (mailing address)
Elijah’s Promise “harnesses the power of food to break the cycle of poverty, alleviate hunger, and change lives.” The organization works to end hunger by serving food at its community soup kitchen, providing education and jobs in the food industry through its Promise Culinary School, and encouraging neighborhood agriculture with its community garden.
According to an emergency message posted on the nonprofit’s website, Executive Director Michelle Wilson wrote, “If you are like most people, you are probably busy stocking your pantry in anticipation of the increasing possibility of a 14-day quarantine, due to the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, the people who depend on Elijah’s Promise for food do not have that luxury. They feel lucky when they have enough food from day-to-day, let alone enough for two weeks.
“In the last ten days, we have spent over $25,000 on emergency supplies including food, new freezers, and sanitation supplies. We need your help to continue these efforts.
“Not only that, due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus, we expect a dramatic increase in the number of people who need meals, as the economic downturn will certainly impact those at risk.”
Sammy’s Hope Animal Welfare & Adoption Center
P.O Box 7281
North Brunswick, N.J. 08902
The nonprofit Sammy’s Hope, with an animal adoption center in Sayreville, is temporarily closed to public walk-in visits. However, animals are still available for adoption. All adoptable animals can be found online for dogs and for cats.
And, since Sammy’s Hope fundraising events have been suspended, monetary donations are “very much appreciated.” Donations can be made through via the website or mailed to us at P.O. Box 7281 North Brunswick, N.J. 08902.
United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
4814 Outlook Drive, Suite 107
Wall Township, N.J. 07753
United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties “mobilizes donors, volunteers and community partners to improve the lives of youth and their families.”
959 Route 46 East, Suite 402
Parsippany, N.J. 07054
Community Hope was founded in 1985 by families of young adults whose lives were impacted by severe depression and other debilitating mental illnesses. The residential programs and support services were expanded in 2001 to reach homeless veterans struggling with mental health issues and combat-induced trauma.
Today, Community Hope is the leading nonprofit in and around New Jersey serving needy veterans and at-risk veteran families. The organization’s residential programs provide a “safe haven” and essential services each day to hundreds of homeless veterans, aging-out youth and adults struggling with mental health issues. Since 1985, we have restored hope to thousands.
Eleventh Hour Rescue
P.O. Box 218
Rockaway, N.J. 07866
The nonprofit Eleventh Hour Rescue focuses on saving animals from kill shelters, fostering them until they are adopted.
According to the nonprofit, “A lot of people have stepped up (to be fosterers) because they are home, but we can always use more.” Those interested can fill out a foster application at https://www.ehrdogs.org/info/display?PageID=10971.
Eleventh Hour Rescue also reports “we can always use donations.” For a list of the items needed, go to https://www.ehrdogs.org/info/display?PageID=17498.
Family Promise of Morris County
P.O. Box 1494
Morristown, N.J. 07962
Family Promise of Morris County is a non-sectarian, not-for-profit organization “dedicated to ending the crisis of homelessness faced by Morris County families by partnering with other public and private agencies, religious congregations and community volunteers to provide shelter, case management and mentoring services leading to self-sufficiency.”
Although specific need has not be indicated on the organization website, donations can be made online.
NewBridge Services Inc.
1259 Route 46 East, Building 2
Parsippany, N.J. 07054
NewBridge is a nonprofit that works to help about 8,000 people of every age and background “overcome challenges and live better.” Headquartered in Pequannock Township, the organization has locations throughout Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties. Services include adult and family counseling, substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery, play therapy for young children, school-based prevention programs, youth employment and education services, adult day treatment programs, and outreach to the elderly. To donate, go to www.newbridge.org
36 South St.
Morristown, N.J. 07960
nourish.NJ is a nonprofit organization that works to create lasting solutions to the problems of hunger, homelessness and poverty. The organization offers food, housing, work readiness, medical, social and educational services 365 days a year in a “warm, safe and caring environment, free of charge, no questions asked.” The organization is in need of need of monetary contributions. Donations can be made by going to https://nourishnj.org/how-to-help/donate/financial-support.html.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson
777 Valley Road
Clifton, N.J. 07013
The mission of Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson and its agencies is to “provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.” A statement on the Catholic Charities website reads, “We recognize that this is an evolving situation, and our action plan will continue to evolve with the changing environment. We assure you that we will work tirelessly to help those most in need.”
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson is accepting monetary donations and donations of food. To help, do go www.ccpaterson.org/corona.
393 Main St.
Paterson, N.J. 07501
Eva’s Village is a faith-based, nonprofit social services organization. The nonprofit works to help individuals struggling with poverty, addiction and mental illness. Programs address basic needs, such as food and shelter, and more complex issues around addiction, mental illness, chronic homelessness, and lack of job training.
Food Bank Network of Somerset County
P.O. Box 149
Bound Brook, N.J. 08805
The mission of The Food Bank Network is to “distribute food and to provide other basic human needs to those less fortunate in the community in a manner which recognizes and advances self worth and human dignity.” The method of distributing this food is through three food pantries, located in Somerville, Bound Brook, and North Plainfield, and a warehouse in Bridgewater.
SHIP — Samaritan Homeless Interim Program
87 East High St.
Somerville, N.J. 08876
SHIP is a faith based, interfaith and community funded, assisted and supported, grassroots organization. The organization works to “create programs and services that increase the Somerset County and surrounding regions capacity to respond to the needs of the poor and working poor.” Clients include those who suffer from homelessness or “being near homeless.” Many are hungry or suffer from substance abuse dependency, HIV/AIDS, mental health issues, or neglect and isolation.
According to SHIP executive director Tom O’Leary, during the COVID-19 crisis, “S.O.S. will be feeding the needy not the fear.”
For those looking to offer a financial donation to assist SHIP in purchasing the necessary items, make checks payable to SHIP (COVID-19 in the memo line). Checks may be mailed to SHIP, 87 East High St., Somerville, NJ 08876.
In addition to financial donations, the following items are needed:
- 9-inch to go containers with no separators
- 6-inch to go containers
- To go bags
- Cleaning products
- Food in pop top packaging and microwaveable items.
Somerset County Office of Emergency Management
@ Somerset County Public Works Garage
410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough N.J. 08844
The Somerset County’s Office of Emergency Management is asking nonessential businesses to donate personal protective equipment supplies for the benefit of RWJ University Hospital-Somerset and local first responders.
The types of PPE being requested include:
- Nitrile gloves (any size)
- Coveralls / tyvek suits / medical gowns (any sizes)
- Face shields / Goggles
- N95 masks
- P100 masks / Air Purifying Respirators
Only unexpired items will be accepted.
A drop off location will be set up at the Somerset County Public Works Garage, located at 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough 08844. Drop offs will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., starting Monday, March 23. Donations will be accepted through Friday, March 28.
All employees and volunteers working at the drop-off location will be practicing social distancing and maintaining a space of six feet or more. Donors are asked to observe the same precautions.
ICNA Relief USA (Muslims for Humanity)
1320 Hamilton St., Somerset NJ 08873
ICNA Relief provides social services across the U.S. to the underprivileged and those affected by natural disasters. Services are made possible through contributions from donors and volunteers like you.
To donate, visit https://www.icnarelief.org/coronavirus. To inquiry about volunteer opportunities, go to http://bit.ly/coronavolunteer
Family Promise of Sussex County
19 Church St.
Incorporated in 1997, Family Promise of Sussex County has provided services to assist families and single men and women as they work toward housing stability and self-sufficiency. The mission of the agency is to serve homeless families by:
- Uniting Local Congregations and Community Resources to Provide Shelter and Meals
- Working with Families to Overcome Barriers to Self-Sufficiency
- Advocating for Local Affordable Housing Solution.
Gateway Family YMCA
144 Madison Ave.
Elizabeth, N.J. 07201
The nonprofit Gateway Family YMCA is a health and community service organization that works to strengthen the foundations of community.
In response to the coronavirus, the Gateway Family YMCA has “increased resources in order to continue to provide essential housing and social services in Elizabeth and Plainfield.” The Gateway Family YMCA reported, “With an increased need for emergency shelter, The Gateway Family YMCA has targeted its focus to ensure the 24-hour housing services remain fully operational with the strongest precautions as directed by local, state and federal government and health officials, in order to protect residents and staff at this time.”
Gateway Family YMCA CEO Krystal R. Canady stated, “Our commitment to the community remains strong, as we understand the vital need for shelter of those who remain homeless during this worldwide health crisis. This is what we do every day and we intend to continue to support our vulnerable population 24 hours a day through this uncertain time, following official recommendations.”
“The work we are doing makes such a difference in the lives of those we serve every day. Each evening, we host approximately 300 individuals who call the YMCA home,” said Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO. “At this time, our focus is on the health and safety of our current housing residents and staff members in all facilities, including those who may join us because of a current need.” In response to the increased costs for food, supplies, cleaning and staffing, the Gateway Family YMCA is accepting donations to support its housing programs at www.tgfymca.org.
SAGE Eldercare, Summit
290 Broad St.
Summit, N.J. 07901
Since 1954, the Summit-based nonprofit SAGE Eldercare has provided information, support and services “designed to help individuals lead the most independent and active lives possible.” From helping with errands, to exercise classes, community programs, care planning, and home health care, SAGE works to help older adults remain independent in their own homes. SAGE provides programs and services to older adults, their families, and caregivers throughout Union, Essex, Morris, and Somerset counties.
SAGE’s communication manager Cindy Potter said of the assistance program team, “Even if they don’t need extra volunteers now, they very well may soon enough” for Meals on Wheels and Errand Services. For volunteer opportunities, call 908-598-5514
United Way of Greater Union County
33 W Grand St.
Elizabeth, N.J. 07202
The mission of the United Way of Greater Union County is to “improve lives and build strong communities by uniting individuals and organizations with the will, passion, expertise, and resources needed to solve problems.” The organization is committed to “changing the odds so that all children and their families, regardless of their circumstances, have the same chance to succeed in school and in life.”
The UWGUC has established a COVID19 Emergency Fund to assist struggling Union County residents financially impacted by the outbreak. The fund will assist families who are out of work or, who are working less hours due to government mandated closures of businesses and schools; did not have benefits or resources to weather the crisis; incurred other debt related to COVID19 (i.e. childcare expenses because schools are closed); are low-income, hourly wage earners, individuals without employer benefits such as paid time off. To donate to the fund, go online. For more information, call 908-353-7171.
Community FoodBank of New Jersey
31 Evans Terminal
Hillside, N.J. 07205
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey works to “fight hunger and poverty in New Jersey by assisting those in need and seeking long-term solutions.” According to the organization’s website, “We engage, educate and empower all sectors of society in the battle. Working together with volunteers, donors and our many partners, we work to fill the emptiness caused by hunger with Food, Help and Hope.”
Carlos M. Rodriguez, president and CEO, Community FoodBank of New Jersey remarked, “Many of our neighbors in need are already feeling the economic impact of COVID-19, while others find themselves struggling perhaps for the first time.
“Continued support is needed for those we serve, now more than ever. With your help, CFBNJ is working to ensure access to nutritious food for vulnerable individuals and families and to meet the additional need that is likely to arise due to the virus. We are also working to create emergency meal kits with nonperishable proteins, vegetables, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal and snack items–enough food to sustain a family for several days.
“It will take the goodness and generosity of others to truly make a difference in the lives of struggling New Jerseyans during the pandemic.”
According to the Community FoodBank, monetary donations are “absolutely the best way to help right now. Monetary donations allow CFBNJ to purchase key products in large quantities and serve more people per dollar.” Additionally, “at this time, CFBNJ is closed for volunteers to limit person-to-person contact. However, the need for volunteers is anticipated “once it is safe to do so.”
350 Marshall St.
Phillipsburg, N.J. 08865
NORWESCAP is a private, nonprofit corporation, established in 1965, serving the low-income population in Northwest New Jersey. The nonprofit offers a “comprehensive array” of strategies, programs, and services to create opportunities and change lives.
According to Helene Meissner, NORWESCAP Food Bank director, “Right now we’ve got a lot of food; two weeks from now, that won’t be the case, that’s when people will panic, get frustrated and need assistance. If people want to drop off food, we’ll need cereal and soups that will go in emergency bags.” She added, “Monetary donations go a long way; that way we can get exactly what we need such as meat, eggs, perishables.”
Organizations seeking donations
The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) has been established to support organizations that provide essential services to people in need and to assist those on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 crisis.
Other major organizations accepting donations to provide aid during the coronavirus pandemic include:
- American Red Cross
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- Community FoodBank of New Jersey
- Feeding America
- Food for the Poor
- Meals on Wheels
- Operation Homefront
- Salvation Army
- United Way
Article Courtesy: nj.com