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President's Letter

This year, we certainly had an unusual Spring. Winter officially ended, only to give way to some unseasonably chilly and rainy spring months. It seems like the sun is just starting to shine bright, as summer (and it’s hot, humid weather!) quickly approaches.

Despite the weather, we here at NJ SHARES have been busier than ever. Over the course of the past month, we have been attending a variety of local community events all around the state and showcasing all of our assistance programs to those in need. You can read more about our adventures around the state in the accompanying articles below.

This month, NJ SHARES’ good work was also on display on a national level. We were proud to present at the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) Annual Conference in Arizona. NJ SHARES’ Barbara Gomes, Volunteers Mary Grassi and Jim Dieterle and Anti-Poverty Network’s Executive Director Renee Koubiadis proudly presented our work to more than 600 of our peers across the country. View some photos from the event and read more about the conference in our spotlight piece below.

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude and sincere thanks to our agency partners, utility and energy company friends and supporters throughout the state. With your continued support, we will continue to work together toward maintaining an important financial safety net for individuals and families around the state who need it most and further strengthen our ties to the communities we serve. 


National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference

Pictured are Lori Jacobwith, Chief Fundraising Culture Changer and Master Storyteller with NJ SHARES' Barbara Gomes at NEUAC. Lori is one the top 25 fundraisers in the country!

National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference Recap

This month, NJ SHARES’ Development Director Barbara Gomes showcased our important work in multiple presentations at the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference, appropriately themed We Rise Together, brought more than 600 utility, government and nonprofit professionals from around the country to share best practices in energy affordability programs.

Barbara joined her counterparts from Dollar Energy Fund, Washington Area Fuel Fund, the Fuel Fund of Maryland and Operation Fuel to present a workshop in the Fundraising Beyond LIHEAP track titled Mission Moment Events. The NJ SHARES Ice House fundraiser, which marked our 20th anniversary earlier this year and raised more than $220,000, was highlighted in the workshop.

Additionally, Barbara moderated a discussion on escheat funds, titled They Raised a Million, Learn How You Can Too, which highlighted Arizona’s success in developing an energy assistance program with escheat funding and presented historical information about our success in program development and distribution of those funds here in New Jersey.

AARP National Volunteer and NJ SHARES Volunteer Mary Grassi present at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference.

NJ SHARES Volunteer Mary Grassi and AARP Volunteer/NJ SHARES Board member Jim Dieterle presented in the Vulnerable Populations track, titled Focus on Aging. The workshop covered the NJ SHARES Family Caregiver Grant and other potential solutions for utilities, energy assistance non-profit organizations, state governments and others to utilize in addressing the needs of 40 million caregivers nationwide. 

Pictured are Marsha Belcher, Fund Administrator for Lake County Illinois, Barbara Gomes and Renee Koubiadis, Executive Director for Anti-Poverty Network.

NJ SHARES was proud to be able to bring the Anti-Poverty Network’s work to NEAUC. APN Executive Director Renee Koubiadis presented information on their study titled, Structural Racism: The Uncomfortable Truth at a general session. The results of the APN study will help us better understand the causes of structural poverty and the role that policy plays in conditions that can reduce or perpetuate it – allowing us to better address the needs of our customers, clients and constituents.


Honored are Atlantic City Electric, Elizabethtown Gas, Jersey Central Power and Light, New Jersey Natural Gas, Public Service Electric and Gas, Rockland Electric and South Jersey Gas.

NJ SHARES Congratulates the New Jersey Utility Companies!

Congratulations to all the New Jersey Natural Gas and Electric Utility Companies, who as a collaborative, received the NEUAC’s Corporate Excellence Award.  The New Jersey Utilities were recognized for their successful collaborations that created and support NJ SHARES, NJ Comfort Partners and USF - all of which exemplify outstanding achievements on behalf of limited income customers. 

Honored are Atlantic City Electric, Elizabethtown Gas, Jersey Central Power and Light, New Jersey Natural Gas, Public Service Electric and Gas, Rockland Electric and South Jersey Gas.

Pictured at NEUAC are the four Fuel Funds who built Ice Houses, Deb Brown from Fuel Fund of Maryland, Kelly Caplan from Washington Area Fuel Fund, Chad Quinn and Jody Robertson from Dollar Energy and Barbara Gomes from NJ SHARES.

NJ SHARES Congratulates Dollar Energy Fund!

NJ SHARES congratulates Dollar Energy Fund on thier third Victorine Q. Adams' award. This award spotlights institutional innovation and achievement among nonprofit NEUAC members.  Dollar Energy was recognized for thier Ice House event that spurred three others in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.  Together, the Ice Houses have raised more than $1.2 Million over the last four years including the $600,000 raised by the Ice House events in January and February of this year. NJ SHARES 20th anniversary was marked by an Ice House event that raised more than $220,000 for energy assistance, provided a mission moment to donors and raised awareness of our programs.

Jackie Berger poses with her award at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference.

Congratulations Jackie Berger on the Sister Pat Kelley Award!

NJ SHARES' Board Advisor, Jackie Berger from APPRISE (Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation) was honored with the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition's Sister Pat Kelley Award.  This award recognizes exemplary personal achievement in furthering the organization’s objectives of increasing public awareness of low-income energy problems, advancing energy assistance policy and promoting charitable energy assistance.   Jackie joins the elite group of committed NJ SHARES trustees who have won this award, which is NEUAC’s highest honor. NJ SHARES is lucky enough to have worked with such honorees: Michael Swayze, Jim Dieterle, Jim Jacob, Michael Hoy and David Carroll.

More information on NEUAC can be found at:



Save the Date: 3rd Annual Dine to Donate in Atlantic City

Join us on July 24 at the VUE Rooftop Bar and Lounge at The Claridge in Atlantic City for our 3rd Annual Dine to Donate! Use this coupon  to guarantee that a percentage of your bill will be donated to NJ SHARES’ Energy Assistance Program to benefit Atlantic County residents. Feel free to share with your friends and family, as well!

The event will run from Noon - 10 p.m. –  our guest bartender line-up will start at 5 p.m. Stay tuned to our social media channels for guest bartender reveals!

Pictured at the event are NJFA Executive Director Melissa Chalker (right) and NJ SHARES Outreach Coordinator Dena Shipley.

New Jersey Foundation for Aging Conference

NJ SHARES had the chance to exhibit our programs to more than 200 attendees at the New Jersey Foundation on Aging’s 20th Annual Conference titled Models, Police and Prescriptions for Healthy Aging.  These professionals have direct contact with seniors and their caregivers, as well as policy and decision makers from the aging network. NJ SHARES was able to talk about our utility assistance programs and our Family Caregiving Grants to key staff from the assisted living community housing programs, senior centers, county offices on aging, hospitals, nursing homes, geriatric care managers and community-based services.


NJ SHARES Collaborates at Energy Housing and Foreclosure Events

NJ SHARES has been participating in events that focus on Energy, Housing and Foreclosure assistance. We recently partnered with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, New Jersey Department of Health, Robins’ Nest and South Jersey Gas to exhibit our programs at five events around the southern New Jersey region:

  • A Roof Over My Head – held at the Living Faith Christian Center in Pennsauken
  • Energy, Housing and Foreclosure Assistance – three events held in Glassboro, Lindenwold and Pleasantville
  • Atlantic City Housing Expo –  held at The Claridge Hotel

These events gave us the opportunity to join our utility and community partners to provide information and enrollment opportunities to qualified families and individuals who are learning about homebuying, mortgages and other resources.

NJ SHARES Reaches Out to Seniors in Camden

As part of NJ SHARES commitment to connecting seniors with available resources, we attended the Senior Seminar, hosted by the City of Camden Department of Human Services – Senior and Emergency Services Division. The event was held at Malandra Hall Community Center in Camden.  NJ SHARES had the opportunity to bring awareness of the energy, telephone and water assistance programs that may be available to them, as well as answer questions about our programs.

Pictured at the DIAL event are Shanice Sinclair, Dena Shipley, Joan Sapp, Dana R. Backman and Travis Jones.

NJ SHARES Showcases Programs at DIAL Center for Independent Living

This month, DIAL invited NJ SHARES to talk with their seniors and disabled adults about the NJ SHARES energy, telephone and water assistance programs. DIAL, Inc. is a center for independent living, which is part of a statewide network of non-residential centers designed and operated to provide services to individuals with significant disabilities. DIAL aims to provide information and referral, advocacy, peer support, independent living skills training and facilitates community transition. The presentation, held at Saint Brendan’s Church in Clifton, was part of DIAL’s community recreation program.

Agency Spotlight

Pictured are Dena Shipley and SLA Executive Director Jonny Torres.

Agency Spotlight: Save Latin America

NJ SHARES is fortunate to partner with more than 214 agencies around the state. Each organization has a different mission and focus, but all provide holistic solutions to their community.  “At NJ SHARES, we believe it is important to empower our communities to provide assistance in their neighborhoods so that people can find access to assistance in a place they feel comfortable asking for help,” said Jim Jacob NJ SHARES President and CEO.

This month, NJ SHARES is delighted to spotlight Save Latin America, Inc.  (SLA) with whom we have partnered since 2007. SLA is a New Jersey-based, 501c3 non-profit organization serving as an advocate for the Hispanic community of the Metropolitan areas of Northern NJ and New York City.  Established in 1990, the organization’s goal is to provide educational counseling, health and social services and to offer expanded economic and employment referrals to the Hispanic community.

The establishment of the SLA Community Resource Center (CRC) in Union City further solidified the organization as a community anchor institution to the Hispanic population in the area. The CRC is dedicated to providing information and public services, such as health screenings, immigration assistance, workshops and counseling.

“We see clients at the CRC daily that can use the support of NJ SHARES programs. Because every little bit helps, it is partnerships like the one between NJ SHARES and SLA that are paramount to the success of our clients,” said SLA Executive Director Jonny Torres. “We are proud to offer utility assistance programs as part of our tools for the community.”

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Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email
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