MEND's Help a Family for the Holidays Program is a wonderful way to make the holiday season a happy one for a struggling family. This project started more than 25 years
ago when we realized there would be families who would not be
able to celebrate the holidays without some outside support. The Help a Family Program was designed to respond to this need and also provide the sponsor with a personal approach to giving.
Each year, food pantries coordinators complete client profiles of critically needy families (ages, sizes, family situation, gifts they would like, etc). This information is then sent to the MEND office and matched with a sponsor. The sponsor may be an individual, a family, a school, a church, or a community or business group.
The sponsor is asked to provide grocery gift cards and two or three age appropriate gifts for each family member (usually about $250 for a family of four). The sponsor then delivers the gifts to the food pantry.
Because of the personal selection process between the donor and the family in need, gifts and other items for the family are selected with great care. One recipient commented, “What makes this a beautiful Christmas is not just the turkeys and wonderful toys for my children, but knowing there are people who truly care about me—a neighbor in need. I will never forget such kindness.”
Participation in Help a Family can bring the generosity and spirit of the holidays to life for donors. If you are interested and would like to take part in this special program, please call Meeting Emergency Need With Dignity at: 973-266-7941 or email us at: info@MENDNJ.org.
A Time for Thanks
This Thanksgiving, MEND pantries saw an increase in the number of families seeking help, but were able to provide hundreds of hungry people in our community with groceries. One of our eighteen pantries, The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, (pictured below) served over 300 people at their Thanksgiving distribution on Wednesday, enabling all of those families to have their own joyous holiday celebrations. More than 775 bags of food, including turkeys and all the fixings for a delicious holiday meal were distributed. Donated hats, gloves, and coats were also available for those in need. This Thanksgiving, the Interfaith Pantry of the Oranges was able to reach more 1000 people, 40% of whom were children. This could not have been accomplished without the incredible efforts of nearly 100 volunteers who worked tirelessly to get all of the jobs done. Thank you to all who made this holiday celebration possible!
SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Join us for MEND's Annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.
Check back here for more details . . .
MEETING EMERGENCY NEEDS WITH DIGNITY -- INTERFAITH EMERGENCY FOOD NETWORK
37 EVERGREEN PLACE -- EAST ORANGE, NJ 07018
MAIN PHONE: 973-266-7941 -- FAX: 973-675-6935