Bountiful donations made holiday projects possible

Newton /
| 21 Dec 2023 | 01:37

    The dawn of a new year brings the opportunity to reflect on the gifts of the past while anticipating the possibilities of the future.

    We are awed by the bountiful donations which were received in support of the holiday initiatives at Project Self-Sufficiency. Because of the generosity of our friends and neighbors, more than 500 families enjoyed complete Thanksgiving feasts; the Earth Angels program provided gifts, comfort, and support to more than 100 senior citizens; and more than 2,300 youngsters received new toys in December.

    The Season of Hope Toy Drive once again reflected an outpouring of generosity from this wonderful community and demonstrated the strength, resilience and genuine caring that we see each and every day among all our neighbors.

    We are indebted to Sussex County Community College and the Newton VFW Post #5360, as well as to the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots, for their commitment to this initiative.

    A record 45 schools in Sussex, Warren and Morris counties participated in the Stuff the Stocking contest, collecting thousands of toys for their fellow children and teens. We are grateful to Stocker Bus Co. for providing school buses and to the bus drivers who volunteered their time to pick up toys at the participating schools and to shuttle volunteers during the two-day toy shop.

    Thank you, Off Shore Marine, for working with area first-responders and local businesses to pack a boat with hundreds of new toys for local children. Thank you, Selective Insurance Co., for engaging your employees in a spirited competition to provide 52 new bikes for children in need and for sending teams of volunteers to assist with setting up the shop for days on end.

    During the toy shop, we were graced with the talent of scores of musicians who boosted the spirits of the staff, patrons and volunteers with the gift of song. We are so thankful for you.

    As for the countless individuals, businesses, churches, schools, restaurants and civic organizations who donated toys, as well as the hundreds of volunteers who assisted in the toy shop, you ensured that thousands of children and teens had gifts under their trees.

    Our dedicated staff and board of directors went above and beyond to make this year’s toy shop a place where our patrons could select toys for their families in a place of warmth and dignity.

    Finally, we extend our deepest gratitude to our friends in the law enforcement community who volunteered their time during the two-day toy shop to keep us safe.

    The families served by the Season of Hope Toy Shop felt the love and compassion extended to them by all of you in our community. We can’t thank you enough.

    Best wishes for a healthy, happy, safe and prosperous New Year.

    Deborah Berry-Toon, executive director, Project Self-Sufficiency