School Supply Drive
Each year, thousands of New Jersey children attend their first day of school without basic educational tools such as backpacks, notebooks and calculators. These under-resourced children struggle to succeed academically. Jersey Cares works with dozens of schools, children‘s shelters and community centers with the goal that no children in New Jersey will have to experience a first day of school without these basic necessities. With your help, we can bridge the gap between disadvantage and academic success. Information about the 2017 School Supply Drive will be available in June.
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For the past 21 years, The Jersey Cares Coat Drive has mobilized the collection and distribution of thousands of "gently used" winter coats to men, women, children and infants in need. In 2016, Jersey Cares collected and distributed more than 30,000 coats throughout the state of New Jersey. Companies, churches, police stations, schools and other organizations collect coats throughout the drive and deliver them to a central location, where volunteers then organize the donated coats and package them for pick-up. Our approved nonprofit partners then pick up and distribute the coats to people in need. Contact Jenny Lewellen.
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During the holiday season, Jersey Cares gives volunteers the opportunity to give back directly to a child in need through our annual gift-giving program. Frosty’s Friends aims to spread holiday cheer to children in shelters or transitional housing facilities during the holiday season. Volunteers will receive a note from a child with their agency information and gift ideas. Corporate and civic groups are highly encouraged to register. We also recruit volunteers to review the children's letters before they're distributed - check the Jersey Cares Project Calendar in October for dates and times.
Information for the 2017 Jersey Cares Frosty’s Friends Program will be available in October 2017.
About the Program
For most children’s shelters and other Jersey Cares project partners, Halloween costumes do not make the list of essentials in the budget. Therefore, Jersey Cares helps to offset costume costs by collecting new and gently used costumes from our generous volunteers. Every October, this enables Jersey Cares to help children living in New Jersey’s shelters to have a Happy Halloween. Information about the 2017 Halloween Costume Drive will be available in August 2017.
Year-Round Collection Drives
First Night Kit Program
Throughout the year, caring volunteers collect items for donation to our First Night Kit Program in their offices, churches, fraternities and even their homes, and then send or deliver those items to the Jersey Cares office. Jersey Cares then manages teams of volunteers to assemble kits for domestic violence shelters, transitional housing facilities, runaway safe havens, foster homes and other agencies with transitional populations in need of hygiene items on the "first night" of their stay. Often, people arriving at these facilities are in sudden and difficult circumstances which leave them without even the most basic of necessities. This program helps make their life a little easier on a very difficult day. CLICK HERE for more information, or please contact Jessica McKenzie.
Animal Shelter Helpers
When an animal arrives at a shelter, it has been found as a stray, surrendered or abandoned by its owner, or rescued from a puppy mill. These cats or dogs have no home or owner to love them. They feel unwanted, bewildered, and terrified. Generous volunteers help Jersey Cares ease the pain of this difficult transition by providing comfort to our four legged friends and the shelters which provide a safe haven. Jersey Cares has established the Animal Shelter Helpers program to provide no-kill rescue shelters in need of items for animals during their stay prior to a permanent adoption. CLICK HERE for more information, or please contact Vanessa Martinez.