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United Way Hosts Virtual Power Up to Thrive Workshop Series

United Way of Hunterdon County continues to provide programs so individuals and families can work toward not only surviving, but thriving.

In order to thrive, we need to power up.  What does it mean to “power up?”  To “power up” is to give ourselves time and energy focusing on the SELF.  It is recognizing inner strengths & natural abilities. It is managing self-defeating thoughts that hold us back. It is placing attention on the changes we seek in our lives and deciding we are worth implementing those changes.  It is rising above adversity with persistence. To “power up” is to be aware that we are capable and to carry in our mind a picture of ourselves that is reflective of the power we have to thrive!

Join United Way of Hunterdon County for a four session virtual series on zoom as we read stories, hold group discussions, and experience self-reflective exercises all designed to power up.

Monday, October  5       6:00pm-7:30pm Rising Above Adversity

Wednesday, October 7  6:00pm-7:30pm Inner Resources

Monday, October 12      6:00pm-7:30pm What Needs to Change?

Wednesday, October 14            6:00pm-7:30pm Just for Today

Facilitator:  Jeanne Rohach, Coordinator, Foundations of Success Workshops,

Dress for Success Northern NJ. Jeanne has thirteen years of experience creating and facilitating customized workshops covering a wide range of topics related to empowerment for women’s groups, work readiness programs, behavioral health centers, anti-poverty initiatives, mental health groups, and substance abuse prevention & recovery programs in northern and central New Jersey.

To register for the workshop, contact claire@uwhunterdon.org

 

Hunterdon County Community Partners Statement on Racism and Social Justice

The COVID-19 pandemic is both a backdrop for and perhaps a catalyst of the civil unrest affecting communities across the country. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color, exposing the inequities and racism permeating all of our systems – economic, health care, education and the list goes on. While some are celebrating the beginning stages of America’s reopening, those most at risk of police violence are leading demonstrations that aggression against the black community is an epidemic in its own right that demands attention and immediate action.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and hundreds of other Americans have been extrajudicially killed. We demand justice for these murders and for police violence against protestors in New Jersey and elsewhere.

We believe that Black Lives Matter, that the nationwide uprisings in support of basic human rights must be allowed to continue without repression, and that all nonprofit organizations have an obligation to be actively anti-racist in their internal and external policies and practices.

We commit to renewing our ongoing efforts to actively combat rampant racial inequalities faced by our clients, our staff, and members of our communities. We commit to supporting local initiatives to root out discrimination ranging from institutional racism to racial profiling in our Hunterdon neighborhoods.

We commit to not just listen to the stories of the people most affected, but to listen with an open heart and to listen non-comparatively.  We know we will be uncomfortable with what we hear at times but we won’t stop listening.

We commit to doing better at upholding our missions as nonprofits by grounding our work in anti-racism and the experiences of the most marginalized among us.

Enough is enough: it’s time to take immediate action together to tackle racism and the systems that promote it.

 

Angela Fields, Executive Director, Family Promise of Hunterdon County

Galindo "Glenn" King, Executive Director, Freedom House

The Meta Theatre Company

Mark Valli, CEO, NORWESCAP

Bonnie Duncan, CEO, United Way of Hunterdon County

 

Struggling Workers Can Apply For COVID-19 ALICE Recovery Funds

 

ALICE families in six NJ counties can apply for emergency financial assistance at UnitedWayNNJ.org/ALICErecovery

 

MORRISTOWN – Low- and moderate-income workers in northern New Jersey who have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply online for emergency financial assistance beginning today at UnitedWayNNJ.org/ALICErecovery.

 

The ALICE Recovery Fund (#ALICErecovery) was established by United Way of Northern New Jersey in partnership with United Way of Hunterdon County to address emerging needs of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households and those in poverty in response to the pandemic.

 

“At United Way, we are committed to getting financial assistance into the hands of our most vulnerable ALICE neighbors — many of whom are on the front lines of this crisis as our supermarket workers, home health aides, office cleaning staff, and child care teachers,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO Kiran Gaudioso.

 

“While helpful, the federal stimulus funding will not cover the basics for ALICE families in our high cost state and United Way is dedicated to protecting the financial, physical and mental health of these essential workers. We are hoping for additional support from the community, we want to help as many people and families as possible,” said United Way of Hunterdon County CEO Bonnie Duncan.

 

Eligible households will receive a minimum financial award of $500. The Fund is strictly limited to assisting residents of Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Suburban Essex, Sussex, and Warren counties. (Suburban Essex includes the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona)

 

Applicants will need to provide documentation that their household income qualifies as falling below the ALICE Threshold prior to the pandemic. In addition, applicants must show a loss of income due to the pandemic, beginning February 1, 2020. The income guidelines are as follows:

  • Single adults must have had an annual income below $35,560 without dependents or no more than $88,128 with two or more dependents.
  • Two adult households must have had an annual income below $52,444 without dependents or no more than $103,836 with two or more dependents.

“United Way’s ALICE research shows that nearly 30 percent of households in the communities served by this Fund struggled to afford the basics even before COVID-19 hit, and we expect more will become ALICE because of the magnitude of this pandemic,” Gaudioso said.

 

“ALICE households have been hit hard by this pandemic as many of these workers did not earn enough to have established savings and did not have basic employee protections — such as an annual salary, adequate health care coverage and access to other benefits to help them withstand this prolonged crisis,” Duncan added.

 

The Fund was launched with a generous seed donation from the New York Jets. Top philanthropic community leaders ExxonMobil and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have also joined the effort, recognizing the importance of supporting local ALICE families.

 

As the need is great, United Way asks that anyone who can afford to donate, perhaps sharing part of your stimulus check if you are still able to work, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the Fund. The more we raise, the more we can assist ALICE families. Donations can be made to the ALICE Recovery Fund online at UnitedWayNNJ.org/ALICErecovery.

 

United Way’s COVID-19 ALICE Recovery Fund Helps Those In Need


 

United Way of Hunterdon County has teamed up with United Way of Northern New Jersey in the COVID-19 ALICE Recovery Fund to provide relief to as many Hunterdon households as possible. ExxonMobil, the New York Jets and other corporate partners have made significant contributions to the ALICE Relief Fund and anyone who has extra to give is asked to consider making a donation today.

 

This vulnerable population is called ALICE, our neighbors who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. ALICE households earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford household necessities. They often earn too much to qualify for government assistance and have no safety net. In New Jersey, 1.2 million households have incomes below the ALICE Threshold.  That translates to two out of five New Jersey households that are walking a financial tightrope. In Hunterdon County, those fragile households account for 27% or one in four of our neighbors that fall below the ALICE income threshold.

 

The state of emergency created by the coronavirus COVID-19 is exposing critical shortcomings in our economy, health care system, and public education. The top prescription for combatting the spread of the virus — social distancing — demands working from home, keeping children out of school, and limiting person-to-person contact. These actions, while necessary for fighting the virus, put a substantial segment of our working population at serious financial risk. These are workers who might be without health insurance, are afraid to call out sick for fear of losing their job, and whose children may receive daily meals at school.

Recent government relief measures will provide important support for states and businesses as well as those already eligible for public assistance. Fast-tracking unemployment insurance and expanding benefits such as paid sick and medical leave will help many ALICE workers, but unmet needs remain. The most significant gap will be for households ineligible for public assistance, self-employed/independent contractors, and those who incur additional expenses or reduced work schedules. The strain on these already fragile households will surpass the short-term crisis.

Contributions to the Fund will help to close gaps in needed assistance for ALICE and those in poverty who live and work in the six county region covered by both United Way organizations.

“ExxonMobil is committed to doing our part to support the community by providing contributions like this to United Way’s ALICE Recovery Fund which will work to address the long-term impacts of this crisis,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president ExxonMobil Research and Development. “We value the important role United Way of Hunterdon County plays in building our community, and providing assistance to our most vulnerable members.  COVID-19 has challenged New Jersey in unprecedented ways and many more people need our help.”

“United Way of Hunterdon County understands that COVID-19 doesn’t recognize county borders. The most effective way for us to assist ALICE in Hunterdon County and throughout northern New Jersey is to join forces with our neighbors at United Way of Northern New Jersey,” stresses Brad Muller, United Way of Hunterdon County Board President.

Help spread the word about the Fund to those who have the means to give and to those who may need assistance. Links to the donation page and applications for financial assistance can be found at www.uwhunterdon.org and www.unitedwaynnj.org. Funds will be provided directly to qualifying households in the next few weeks.

Get updates on the Fund and advocate for ALICE during this crisis by following us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn; hashtags #ALICErecovery #HelpALICE.

If you are interested in supporting our struggling neighbors in other ways, join a virtual food drive, volunteer to call seniors and others who may be feeling overwhelmingly isolated. Reach out to our community partner Hunterdon Helpline for more volunteer opportunities and community updates at www.helplinehc.org or 908-782-4357. For help with non-emergency COVID-19 resource questions you can also contact nj211.org or call 2-1-1.

Together we will beat COVID-19 and ensure that every individual has the opportunity to thrive. 

 

United Way of Hunterdon County Supports Hunterdon Healthcare Heroes

United Way of Hunterdon County’s Board of Trustees raised $2,375 to help Hunterdon Healthcare System meet the growing demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The money was raised in just 24 hours in response to a board challenge issued by board president, Brad Muller. “In times of crisis, whether it be local (the Frenchtown Fire) or national (9/11), our United Way has answered the call to help our friends and neighbors.  Now that help is needed perhaps more than ever before.  I knew our Board would step up - they always do!” When we encourage others to embrace our credo of  “Give. Volunteer. Advocate.”, we believe it should start at our own doorstep, and that is what we have tried to do with this gift to Hunterdon Healthcare.

The priority in this moment is to make sure our community is safe, well and healthy. The board and staff of United Way of Hunterdon County believe it is our responsibility to help ensure our healthcare providers and first responders have the protective gear they need so they can continue to care for us.

 

 

United Way and Latino Coalition Host RVCC College Tour

 

United Way of Hunterdon County and the Hunterdon County Latino Access Coalition is hosting a tour of Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) on Saturday, March 7, 2020.

Designed for high school students and adults interested in better understanding the educational opportunities focused on specific career areas including Advanced Manufacturing, Welding, 3D Printing, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Automotive, HVAC and Cyber Security.   Representatives from RVCC also will provide insight about application eligibility and the college and financial assistance application process.

This tour  will be on Saturday, March 7 from noon to 3:00pm; participation is free but registration is required. Lunch and transfers to-and-from Flemington will be provided Childcare is available.  For more information and to register call/text 908-797-3745.

About Hunterdon County Latino Access Coalition
A Coalition that is a trusted voice that empowers the community, providing culturally appropriate resources through advocacy, collaborations and advocacy.“Una Voz, Juntos y Sin Miedo” (One Voice, United and Without Fear)

 

 

United Way of Hunterdon County’s Holiday Hands Program

Brings Holiday Cheer to Neighbors in Need

 

Hunterdon County’s high cost of living makes it increasingly difficult for low-to-moderate income families, elderly residents and others with special needs to make ends meet, which is especially poignant during the holiday season. Did you know it costs almost $90,000 for a family of four to just make ends meet in Hunterdon – the highest survival budget in the state? And that number doesn’t include extras like a night at the movies, or holiday gifts. Thanks to the generous support of our community United Way of Hunterdon County hopes to once again give more than 2,700 of our struggling neighbors a brighter holiday season.

Getting involved in Holiday Hands is easy. United Way will match individuals or organizations with a family and/or individual and provide their wish list. Unwrapped gifts and/or gift cards are brought to the United Way of Hunterdon County’s office by December 10, 2019.  Gift cards are always needed, especially for individuals and family that they aren’t able to match. And if you don’t have time to shop just go to the United Way of Hunterdon County wish list on Amazon.com.

United Way of Hunterdon County also is in need of Spanish-speaking translators to assist with gift distribution and contacting clients; hours are flexible.

If you, your company or your organization are interested in learning more about helping a family or volunteering this holiday season, please contact Amy at (908) 237-1689; email holiday@uwhunterdon.org or visit www.uhwunterdon.org/holiday-hands to download an application.

Your participation in Holiday Hands makes a significant impact to ensure that local families will experience the wonder of the holidays.

Every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive. United Way of Hunterdon County focuses on poverty prevention, financial empowerment and advocacy to create positive change in our community. For more information about United Way of Hunterdon County visit www.uwhunteron.org or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. United we all win. #liveunited #holidayhands.

 

United Way of Hunterdon County Seeks Volunteers for Tax Season

Looking for a different kind of volunteer opportunity? Volunteering to assist with tax return preparation for low-to-moderate income Hunterdon County area residents is a great way to help others while learning the ins-and-outs of tax preparation. Last year United Way’s tax preparation volunteers helped bring back over $2.4 million to Hunterdon County residents and employees.

No accounting experience is necessary, but a good comfort level of working with financial documents and patient demeanor when interacting with others is required. Volunteers are trained with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax materials and offered additional support through United Way of Hunterdon County. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), volunteers learn how to prepare simple federal and state tax returns.

Once certified, volunteers are assigned to VITA sites in neighborhood community centers, libraries, and churches in locations convenient to VITA customers. The time commitment is about 8 hours for in-person training and 8 hours per week at a VITA site from the beginning of February through April 15th.  The VITA sites electronically transmit tax returns (e-file). 

Not interested in crunching numbers but still looking to help? United Way is especially in need of volunteers fluent in Spanish who can donate 2-4 hours a week. The VITA Translator works one-on-one with clients that need help interacting with their tax preparer.

You can also sign up to be a Volunteer Greeter. Greeters assist clients as they fill out paperwork, ensure clients have brought in all of the paperwork needed to complete a tax return, make reminder phone calls to clients, and provide clients with additional community resources they can access once their return has been completed.

United Way is especially in need of volunteers that are available in the evening. Orientation will be held in late October. To sign up or learn more, contact Amy Andersen or call (908) 237-1689.

About United Way of Hunterdon County          

Every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive. United Way focuses on poverty prevention, financial empowerment and advocacy to create positive change in our community. United we ALL win. 

 

 

 

United Way Focuses on Opportunity for All at Annual Meeting

Opportunity was the theme at United Way of Hunterdon County’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Community Report Out. The event’s keynote address was given by former NFL player and motivational speaker, Lonnie Allgood, who inspired the audience with his personal journey. Mr. Allgood is Founder & CEO of the nonprofit, Dreams for Kids. He shared heartwarming examples of how opportunities given to him throughout his life coupled with hard work and determination led to his successes as an NFL player on the Cincinnati Bengals and throughout his life. He emphasized the importance of supporting our children in school and beyond so that they can achieve their dreams. 

Board of Trustees President, Brad Muller focused on the why of United Way of Hunterdon County: Because every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive. He also reminded those in attendance of who United Way helps or ALICE – the 27% of Hunterdon Households who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed.

He went on to explain how United Way with the support of its community partners helps ALICE both in the moment and long-term through programs including Holiday Hands, VITA Free Tax Prep and Financial Coaching.

United Way of Hunterdon County held its Annual Meeting at Heron Glen Golf Course on  Thursday, June 6 to recognize program accomplishments and honor volunteer efforts, as well as the ongoing financial support of individual and corporate donors. The event was generously supported by Hunterdon Healthcare System, Fulton Bank, Peapack Gladstone Bank & Wealth Advisors, Cost Builders, Stephen Croghan of Three Bridges Wealth Advisors, SBY&C Investments, Unity Bank, Main Street Communications and Money Mailer.

United Way of Hunterdon County presented two awards to organizations that exemplify what it means to Live United.

Hunterdon Healthcare System received the Spirit of Caring Award for its support of both United Way and the greater community. Hunterdon Healthcare also received the Campaign Pillar Award for their financial support of over $81,000.

ExxonMobil received the Spirit of Hunterdon Award for its outstanding financial support as well as year-round engagement and community leadership. They have donated over $453,000 to UWHC through employee campaigns, corporate support and special events. ExxonMobil received the Highest Corporate, Highest Employee, and Highest Union Per Capita Awards.

 “ExxonMobil and its employees understand the symbiotic relationship that exists between them and the Hunterdon community. They are truly engaged in all the work they do – fundraising, running a diaper drive, leading STEM projects with kids or providing strategic insight as members of our board,” explains Bonnie Duncan, CEO, United Way of Hunterdon County.

“ExxonMobil employees proudly put into action the corporate culture of supporting the communities where we work and live,” adds Tim McMinn, Vice President, Lubricants Technology, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering.

United Way also introduced the new members to the United Way Board of Trustees:

Michael Harper of Hillsborough and Research Associate at ExxonMobil;  Rick Morris of Kingwood Township, an IT Manager at Janssen; Murali Parthasarathy of Whitehouse Station, Managing Partner in Learning Organized; Renee Marinich of Lambertville is retired Assistant VP of Finance for AT&T; Lacy Phelps of Frenchtown, is a financial Planner with Edward Jones; Wendy Reid of Somerset is the HR Manager at 3M Medical Solutions; Brandon Weldon of Annandale, is a Corporate Research Director at ExxonMobil; Michael Wellons of Annandale is retired and formerly a Technology Portfolio Leader for ExxonMobil.

United Way of Hunterdon County introduced the 2019-20 slate of officers: Bradford W. Muller, Esq, President; Rebecca Testa, President-Elect and Vice President CRISP (Community Resource Investment & Strategic Planning); Peter Gakos, Treasurer; Joe Galioto, Secretary; Diana Fredericks, Esq, Chair Governance Committee, Justin Eisenberg, Chair Finance/Audit Committee, and Cindy Barter, Latino Access Coalition Liaison.

United Way of Hunterdon County focuses on poverty prevention programs, financial empowerment and advocacy to create positive change in our community. Visit www.uwhunterdon.org, follow them on Facebook and Twitter or call (908) 782-3414.

 

 

United Way Marks Volunteer Month with Thank You Celebration

United Way of Hunterdon County (UWHC) thanked its volunteers at its annual Volunteer Recognition and Celebration held at Beaver Brook Country Club on April 17th.

The Sustained Volunteer Award was presented to long-time supporter Steve Croghan for his dedication to the Hunterdon community through his volunteer work at United Way, the North Hunterdon Rotary and High Bridge Youth Soccer and Basketball. Mr. Croghan is CEO of Three Bridges Wealth Advisors and a resident of High Bridge.

In addition, 34 volunteers who dedicated more than 100 hours to United Way in 2018 received The President’s Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes, celebrates and holds up as role models Americans making a positive impact as engaged and deeply committed volunteers. Community members, Kathy Closs, Barbara Piwinski and Ray Somers received the President’s Gold Award for giving more than 500 hours of their time to programs.

 

The Volunteer Recognition Celebration was made possible by support from, The Bank of Princeton; Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Three Bridges Wealth Advisors and SBCY Securities Corp.

United Way Board President Brad Muller and CEO Bonnie Duncan presented Steve Croghan with this year’s Sustained Volunteer Award.

United Way volunteers Barbara Piwinski, Ray Somers and Kathy Closs and received the President’s Gold Award for Volunteerism for the third consecutive year.

 

 

 

 

Lead to Succeed…A Board Development Primer

 

United Way of Hunterdon County is again offering its Board Development Primer for current and future board members. The well-received program is designed to facilitate the recruitment, development and retention of leaders on boards and committees throughout our community.  This 4-session series appeals to volunteers with all levels of experience.

 

This Board Development Primer Program defines board roles, responsibilities and boundaries.  The program focuses on governance roles, while at the same time addressing the fiduciary roles of board members. Participants will learn how to advocate for and support their cause and be well prepared to take on a committee or Board role, or to better meet the expectations of their current role. The program reinforces the value of recruiting culturally diverse volunteers and then training them to be

effective leaders.

 

“The Board Development Primer course reinforces the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful board member, non-profit professional or active volunteer. Even an experienced philanthropic leader will benefit from this program.”  Justin Eisenberg, United Way of Hunterdon County Board of Trustee, Chair Finance/Audit Committee, SHI International Corp.

 

Participation in all 4 sessions is essential in order to fulfill the requirements for United Way Certification.  Cost is $35, pre-registration is required and space is limited. Dinner will be served.  To RSVP, call 908-782-3414.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact Bonnie Duncan, CEO, via phone at 908-782-3414, ext. 22 or bonnie@uwhunterdon.org.

 

Dates for next series:

Thursday, February 21, 2019              
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITITES

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
GOVERNANCE

Monday, March 18, 2019                     

FINANCE

Wednesday, April 3, 2019                   

FUNDRAISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS

 

This interactive series of workshops will be held from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at the United Way of Hunterdon County Main Office, 4 Walter Foran Blvd, Suite, 401, Flemington.

Please visit uwhunterdon.org or United Way of Hunterdon County on Facebook for updates on other volunteer opportunities, or call 908-782-3414. United Way of Hunterdon County is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income, and health because  every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive!