It’s a season of service.
That’s what the governor’s office is hoping the coming weeks will be remembered as. In addition to celebrating the winter holidays, Gov. Chris Christie is urging residents to lend a hand to volunteer organizations and help serve their communities.
“Season of Service” was announced by Governor and First Lady Christie on Thanksgiving Eve. The idea, according to the governor’s office, was inspired by 8-year-old Aidan McManus of Burlington Township. Aidan volunteers every Wednesday at the Ladle of Love soup kitchen at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, and for his efforts were recognized by First Lady Pat Christie as a New Jersey Hero.
The Christies pitched in to help cook Thanksgiving meals last Wednesday, and yesterday announced several Christie administrators were also participating in the Season of Service.
Acting Governor Kim Guadagno, Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd are volunteering today at the Community Food Bank in Hillside of Union County, for example.
According to the governor’s office, the state officials are among 1.5 New Jerseyans volunteering in their communities annually. That includes service to non-profits, schools, places of worship and civic organizations.
If you’re looking for ways to volunteer, there is no shortage of opportunities the Two River Area. There's everything from a weekly free dinner at the , to SAVE pet adoption services, to seasonal food drives to blood drives going on.
Here are but a few ideas:
-Volunteer at . More than 3,000 volunteers give their time each week at Meridian Health's hospitals. Yet, they still need more people who are willing to lend a hand. When you volunteer for the hospitol, their goal is to match each volunteer's needs and interests with the position that is right for him or her. The contact person for volunteers is Diane Chick and she can be reached at 732-530-2253
-The is looking for volunteer advocates, who often attend proceedings to speak up for the interests of neglected or abused children.
-Bridge of Books is a great local organization that distributes new and gently used books to children throughout New Jersey. They are always looking for volunteers to sort through donated books. Click for more information.
-Volunteer at and lend a hand with the following on-site activities:
- Work in the kitchen: Help our cook prepare meals. Set up dining room. Serve lunch.
- Work in the pantry: Help organize incoming food. Bag groceries for clients.
- Work in the clothing department: Help sort through and organize incoming clothing.
- Work in cleaning and maintenance: Help with the maintenance of our building and grounds.
- Work in the office: Help with data entry, answering the phones, typing letters, mailings etc.
Contact Faye Kapler at (732) 747-8577 if you are interested at volunteering at this local soup kitchen and pantry.
-Donate to local food drives including one at (click for details) and .
-Are you under the age of 21 and want to volunteer, but don't know what to do? Family & Children’s Service arranges volunteer opportunities for individuals based on interests, location and availability. Custom opportunities for schools, scouts, religious groups and other organized groups are also available. Contact Samantha White, Manager of Volunteer Services, at 732-222-9111 ext 152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved.