Live United KidsLive United
Underneath everything we are, underneath everything we do, we are all people. Connected, Interdependent, United. And when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. That is what it means to LIVE UNITED.

 

The NEW 2016 Thanks for Giving Cards are Here!
They will be mailed out shortly to our donors.

Don't Forget to Present Your
Thanks for Giving Card at Area Businesses!

 



Please click here for the latest list of Thanks for Giving Vendors for 2016

 


ELEVENTH ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE SCHEDULED

                                                                             

Every day in South Jersey, more than 200,000 people are not sure where their next meal will come from. Of that number 35% are children who after eating at school may come home to an empty plate and 12% are seniors that are making the difficult choice of whether to eat or pay for medicine. The rest are working families that don’t have enough to pay bills and keep three square meals on the table.

Local food pantries provide a needed safety net for these individuals and families. However, after the holiday season many pantries find their stocks depleted and their shelves bare. Please join us as we once again collect food to help our neighbors in need.   

The United Way of Gloucester County, Board of Chosen Freeholders’ Human Service Advisory Council and People for People Foundation have joined together to hold the 11th annual “Gloucester County Cares about Hunger” food drive the week of February 22-28, with the collection on Monday, February 29th at the United Way between 9:30 am and 2:00 pm. 

Over the past ten years, this food drive has collected over 132,507 pounds of non-perishable food for distribution at three dozen food subsidy programs serving Gloucester County residents.  Last year, there were 72 organizations participating, with 93 locations in the County.

Organizations, businesses and schools can support the effort by sponsoring food collections and encouraging their employees, customers and students to participate.

Preferred items include: canned tuna, chicken, corned beef, ham and salmon; whole grain breakfast cereals, oatmeal, granola bars, pancake mix; peanut butter, canned or dry beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds; canned vegetables, fruits, soups, stews, chili, fruit cups, applesauce, dried fruit; canned 100% fruit juices, canned and shelf-stable dairy products; rice, pastas, macaroni & cheese dinners.  Please, no glass bottles or jars.

Per Michael Gower, United Way Executive Director, “Our colleagues at the Food Bank of South Jersey tell us that, while they are grateful for the donations of non-perishable food, they can also multiply the value of cash donations in securing food supplies for local food pantries because of purchasing the exact items needed to provide balanced, nutritional supplies to families in need.”

Donations of canned pet food will also be accepted. Last year nearly 300 pounds of pet food was donated and distributed to families in need for the care of their pets.

Employers, social groups, schools, retail stores, etc. interested in participating are asked to contact Donna Fanticola, at the United Way of Gloucester County, 856.845.4303 x 13.  Individuals who wish to make food and monetary donations can bring the items to the United Way office at 454 Crown Point Road in Thorofare, NJ on Monday, February 29 between 10:00 am and noon.

For additional information about the Food Drive or United Way of Gloucester County initiatives, please e-mail Donna Fanticola at donnafanticola@uwgcnj.org.  For a printable Sign-Up Form for this year's Food Drive, please click here.

 


                                                                                   


AARP ANNOUNCES ITS LOCATIONS AND TIMES FOR TAX ASSISTANCE IN GLOUCESTER COUNTY
TAX YEAR 2015

 

United Way of Gloucester County is happy to announce that filing your tax returns, while often painful, will once again be made easier this year thanks to the volunteers from AARP and their host locations. Once again, the United Way of Gloucester County will be a host location for this valuable service provided free of charge by the AARP to Gloucester County residents who meet the income criteria.

Please feel free to download and print a List of the locations, times, and dates that the AARP will be available to prepare and file tax returns.

Appointments are mandatory, so don't delay!

 


UNITED WAY OF GLOUCESTER COUNTY
2015 “LIVE UNITED” MINI GRANTS – NEW INITIATIVE

 

Clarifi Financial Smarts – Financial Literacy Workshops

The Financial Smarts initiative includes educational workshops targeted to adults who are seeking a stronger understanding of the basics of personal finance.  The program covers a wide range of topics, including budgeting and money management; credit and credit report; banking basics; debt and consumer protections; and keys to homeownership.   

Emmanuel Cancer Foundation
Pediatric Cancer Family Services Program

The Family Services Program is offered free-of-charge to children with cancer and their families.  The program includes some or all of the following services: in-home counseling by a professional caseworker; advocacy with outside agencies; when needed, provisions of material goods such as food, clothing, household items, and toys; emergency financial aid.  The children and families are helped with their day-to-day needs at home where they might be isolated and missing support. 

Gloucester County Habitat for HumanityVeteran Build Home

Habitat for Humanity partners with a family, volunteers and others to build homes for low-to-moderate income families.  This home is being built for a Veteran and his family in Clayton.  There are financial responsibilities to become a partner family, such as they pay for the down payment, closing costs and require 6 months proof of steady employment.  The family contributes 350 “sweat equity” hours in the building of their home. 


Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries
Summer Lunch Box Program

The GWCM recognizes that the summer months place an extra burden on families when school-aged children, who normally receive free/reduced breakfasts and lunches at school, are at home during the summer break.  For the past ten years, the organization has conducted a Summer Lunchbox Program for qualifying children.  Each week, the family is provided with five nutritionally complete “boxes” of food per child.  Each box contains shelf-stable milk, low-sugar breakfast cereal, a box of 100% juice, a microwavable lunch item, a snack and a piece of fresh fruit.  Also provided is a new or gently used donated book for each child once per week and donated age-appropriate school supplies for when they return to school.


Kings Things
Laptop and software for clients’ use

The agency assists local families to a path to financial stability, fostering life skills that will promote personal responsibility and increase financial stability, which leads to greater independence from formal support services and utilize personal assets.  The use of the computer, and purchased software, will help in resume writing, job searches, budget development, services and in other areas.  Utilizing the computer at the agency, with the assistance of staff and volunteers, will give the client privacy, confidentiality, assistance, build confidence and with more time than is available at local libraries. 


SHADOW Equestrian
– Special saddles and equipment for children with disabilities

The agency provides recreational therapeutic riding instruction to disabled children and their instructors are certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.  The children have physical disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy and other muscular diagnoses, focusing on balance, stability, core strength and stamina.  Also served are children on the Autism spectrum, focusing on accepting new environments and situations, and those with Down Syndrome, where the focus is on core strength, weight control and behavior issues.  The agency has eight different horses and ponies, based on personality, body type, gait movement and ability to work in unusual situations with disabled children.  The saddles and tack need to be modified to fit a variety of needs of the riders.  The funding will be used for a special saddle and equipment which would stay more balanced, making it easier for the rider to stay centered, especially when turning the horse around poles and cones.

For the breakdown of funding for each of the above programs, please click here.



COMMUNITY SHUTTLE SERVICE AVAILABLE

Don't forget!...The Pureland East-West Community Shuttle began on June 1st, 2015, and originates at the Avandale Park & Ride. It will have stops in Williamstown, Glassboro, Mullica Hill, Swedesboro, and end in the Pureland Industrial Complex in Logan Township. The shuttle will be used to travel to places of employment, as well as social service and County agencies, health facilities, shopping and more. The service hours are Monday through Friday, 5:00 am to 11:00 am, and 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The fare is only $1.00 each way.

The shuttle is a collaboration of seven partners: the Pascale Sykes Foundation, United Way of Gloucester County (lead agency), the County of Gloucester, Cross County Connection, South Jersey Transit Authority, Heart of Gloucester County, and NJ Transit.

Pictured at the ribbon cutting ceremony held in May 2015 are Frances Sykes, President of the Pascale Sykes Foundation; Robert Damminger, Freeholder Director on the Board of Chosen Freeholders; and Michael Gower, emcee of the event and Executive Director of United Way of Gloucester County. Also pictured in the ribbon cutting ceremony are Heather Simmons (Freeholder), Ronda Urkowitz (Cross County Connection), Bernadette Blackstock (Heart of Gloucester County), Steven Fittante (NJ Transit), Mayor Lou Manzo (Harrison Township), and Logan Township Councilman Stephen Dougherty.


BOEING GRANT EXPANDS UNITED WAY
VETERANS EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE

The United Way of Gloucester County has received a grant from the Boeing Corporation to expand its recently initiated program to assist veterans find and retain meaningful employment. The $22,210 grant will provide the Abilities Solutions in Westville with additional resources needed to add an additional part-time job developer/coach to assist program participants successfully enter the workforce.

The agency was awarded a $50,000 grant from the United Way in September 2013 to launch the program. The grant is funded by proceeds from the annual United Way campaign and its annual 5K Race & Fun Walk in April.

Our United Way is grateful to the Boeing Company for this important support for our veterans’ employment program, which Abilities Solutions has received to help returning members of the armed forces find work. Developing these employment opportunities is critically important to the program’s success.

According to Susan Perron, Abilities Solutions executive director, the program offers participants a skills and work readiness assessment, readiness training, assisting with job hunting and, when indicated, job coaching.

“We want to make a special effort to help newly discharged service personnel,” Perron reported, adding “but the program is available for any former member of the military who is having trouble finding and maintaining employment.”

The program is free to members of the active military and veterans. Participants will be assisted in accessing and applying for any benefits for which they are eligible.

For additional information about the program contact Abilities Solutions at (856) 848-1025 x 139.


United Way Funds
Supportive Services for Local Veterans

Abilities Solutions in Westville, NJ was awarded a $50,000 grant from the United Way of Gloucester County to assist veterans in locating and maintaining gainful employment. The program began in September 2013. The grant was originally funded by donations made to the 2012 United Way Campaign and by proceeds of the United Way's first annual "Spring into Action 5K Family Fun Walk" which was held in April.

“We are grateful to Abilities Solutions for their interest in participating in the request for proposal process,” stated Earle McCloe, chairman of the United Way’s volunteer Community Investment Cabinet. “Our research indicated that many of the newly returning veterans are experiencing difficulty in finding jobs and Abilities Solutions' fifty years of preparing individuals for the workplace, along with their many contacts among area employers, will be great assets to service personnel as they transition back to civilian life," McCloe added.

According to Susan Perron, Abilities Solutions executive director, the program will offer participants a skills and work readiness assessment, readiness training, assisting with job hunting and, when indicated, job coaching.

“We want to make a special effort to help newly discharged service personnel,” Perron reported, adding “but the program is available for any former member of the military who is having trouble finding and maintaining employment.”  

The funding for the program has been extended to June 2015.

Program participants will not be charged for services and will be assisted in accessing and applying for any benefits for which they are eligible. There are many benefits available to veterans but the application process can be complex. Program staff will help program participants obtain the resources available to them, whenever such help is requested.

For additional information about the program, contact Abilities Solutions at (856) 848-1025, extension 139.

 


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Site last updated February 11, 2016