December 2014- Valerie Schoener

Jersey Cares would like to thank our December Star of the Month, for her commitment to serving her community as a volunteer since 2012. Valerie somehow manages to find time to lead a weekly opportunity at Marketplace in New Brunswick while also working and pursuing an online business management degree. Always upbeat and helpful, Valerie lives by the old saying that “what goes around comes around”. She loves her fellow volunteers and the clients she serves, and with her impressive work ethic and generous spirit there is no doubt they love her back. If you’d like to become a part of our amazing community of volunteers, please take a look at our monthly calendar.

November 2014- Hazel and Hannah Pascual

The Jersey Cares Team would like to recognize Hazel and Hannah Pascual as our November Stars of the Month. This mother and daughter duo had been volunteering with Jersey Cares for four years when they decided this past summer to train together as project coordinators through our Seasons of Service Summer Project Leader Program. They both agree that they love volunteering because it simply makes them feel good to help others, and it shows, between the two of them, they’ve clocked nearly a hundred volunteer hours. Hazel’s favorite opportunity is Hunger Helpers in Red Bank (known for its amazing hot breakfasts), while Hannah particularly loves Earth Keepers in Allaire State Park because of the sense of history and wonder the place inspires. 

Hazel had this to say about being named November Stars, “We are truly honored to be recognized by Jersey Cares, but more than the honor, it's really the opportunity given by this wonderful organization to be able to serve and to have the pleasure of meeting so many people from all walks of life.  It continues to make an impact in our life both educational and experiential.  It has given a mom like me a whole new way and meaning to teach my children what ‘actions speak louder than words’ really means.”If you are inspired by Hazel and Hannah, be sure to check out our volunteer opportunity calendar and see how you can lend a hand.

October 2014- Matti Lewis

Jersey Cares would like to congratulate Mattie Lewis, our volunteer star of the month for October. Originally from North Carolina, Mattie has lived (and volunteered!) here in New Jersey since she was 15 years old. Her history of service is impressive, including not only hundreds of hours of disaster recovery work through Jersey Cares but also time with the Red Cross and several local shelters and food pantries. She says that she is driven by a simple desire to help her community in any way she can, and she believes that you should “never turn your back on people, especially those with children”. Her favorite Jersey Cares project is Superstorm Sandy relief down the shore, because her extensive knowledge makes her an especially good resource to connect people with vital services. Mattie, thank you for your incredible dedication

September 2014 - Amina Hylton


Jersey Cares is delighted to recognize Amina Hylton as September's volunteer star of the month. Amina is a native of Fort Worth, Texas and has been a Newark resident for the last 8 years. Amina notes that she accidently came across Jersey Cares doing research to find local volunteer opportunities. This summer Amina trained and successfully completed the Seasons of Service - Summer Leadership Program leading more than 13 different volunteer opportunities. In particular, she enjoyed volunteering at Hunger Helpers in Newark and Cooking Creations in Morristown. Amina says she is motivated to help her community especially if it will benefit children.If you are looking for an opportunity to benefit the children sign up for tutor and mentor volunteer opportunities.


July 2014 – Nancy Zaragoza

As we continue through this wonderful summer of service, Jersey Cares would like to recognize Nancy Zaragoza as July’s Volunteer Star. Starting in 2013, Nancy began volunteering with her son in an effort to prepare him for the Coast Guard and introduce him to the concept of helping people. After enjoying her time at an environmental stewardship project, she quickly signed up to become a Jersey Cares Project Coordinator. Since then, she has led over 25 volunteer projects in a variety of different impact areas, including hunger and homelessness, environmental stewardship, disaster relief and senior services. If you too would like to make a difference in your community, join Nancy at Earth Keepers in Jersey City or Bingo Time in Morristown


June 2014- Danna Seltzer

Jersey Cares would like to recognize Danna Seltzer as June’s Volunteer Star. Motivated by her belief that if a person has the ability to help others they should do what they can, Danna decided to get involved in the Jersey Cares Summer Leadership Program. Danna noted that one of her fondest memories came from her time at Computer Essentials in Elizabeth. Although she was nervous to participate in the project at first because of her own perceived skill level, she said that “being able to actually teach women technical skills that will help them in their everyday lives really opened up my perspective of the world”.If you are looking for an opportunity to open up your perspective on the world, sign up and join Danna at Mobile Meals in Newark or Computer Essentials in Elizabeth today!

May 2014 - AJ Hartman 

Jersey Cares is delighted to recognize AJ Hartman as May’s Volunteer Star! An East Orange resident for the past 17 years, AJ has devoted himself to serving a number of nonprofit organizations throughout the tri-state area. 

April 2014 – Michelle Meacham

It is with great pleasure that Jersey Cares spotlights Michelle Meacham as April’s Volunteer Star. Although she enjoys all of the projects she coordinates, there is a special place in her heart for Art Therapy in Irvington. Michelle says she appreciates this opportunity in particular because it “is amazing to learn how intelligent and wonderful people from all walks of life can be.

March 2014 – Damaris Hicks

Jersey Cares is thrilled to celebrate Damaris Hicks as March’s Volunteer Star! Her favorite impact area is education and youth services, as she enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of math and science with students. Going above and beyond, Damaris has gone on to work closely with the Rutgers Newark Upward Bound program, creating a “Career Discovery” project of her own. 

February 2014--Angela Duncan

Jersey Cares is very excited to recognize Angela Duncan as February’s Volunteer Star! In particular, Angela has dedicated herself to alleviating Hunger and Homelessness in New Jersey.

January 2014--Petra Thomas

As we begin a wonderful year of service, Jersey Cares is excited to recognize Petra Thomas as January’s Volunteer Star of the Month. In particular, Petra has dedicated herself to the area of Senior Services, regularly serving as a Project Coordinator at our Friday Film Club project in Red Bank.