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12/23/08 Volume 3, Issue 9

You are receiving Sharing Neighborhoods as a registered subscriber. Sharing Neighborhoods is a publication of New Jersey SHARES, on the web at www.NJSHARES.org.

What's New
Gov. Corzine signs bill providing $10 million to NJ SHARES and AGL Resources Foundation makes a generous donation, enabling us to reach out to more of our neighbors in financial need.


From left: Assemblywoman Quijano, Assemblyman DeAngelo, Dee Miller, Senator Ruiz, Assemblywoman Greenstein, Rev. Bruce Davidson, Cheryl Stowell, Senator Turner, Jim Jacob, Joyce Campbell, and Jim Dieterle

Governor Signs Legislation Directing $10 Million to NJ SHARES

Recognizing the hardships on Main Street this year, Governor Corzine signed a bill that provides $10 million in assistance to NJ SHARES. In addition to expanding energy bill payment assistance to residents in need, the bill also increases aid to food banks statewide; and promotes mortgage foreclosure assistance.

Governor Corzine signed bill A3374/S1 after his AARP Teletown Hall meeting at the Bernice Muha Senior Center in Hamilton on December 12, commenting, “In New Jersey, we've long maintained the progressive ideal that the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, and just those caught in a down cycle in the economy deserve assistance. We sign this bill to redouble our efforts to provide the most basic needs of shelter, food and heat to those in need. I thank the legislature for coming together and moving on this legislation to provide assistance at this critical time.”

The press conference was covered by Telemundo/Univision, WZBN, CN8,. Newschannel 12 and NJN, which interviewed NJ SHARES’ executive director Jim Jacob.



NJ SHARES Executive Director Jim Jacob

A word from our executive director

NJ SHARES got an early holiday gift on December 12 when Gov. Corzine signed A3374/S1, directing $10 million to us to assist households that are facing a heating crisis. Besides helping to keep our neighbors warm, the bill also increased aid to New Jersey’s food banks and foreclosure prevention assistance, all of these initiatives are directed toward alleviating the effects of the current economic downturn. We will notify all of our partners as soon as we receive the funds.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Gov. Corzine and the New Jersey Legislature for recognizing the growing number of New Jersey residents who are having difficulty paying their energy bills and for responding to this critical need. We also thank our partners at the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey who worked so tirelessly to get this bill passed. Without their help, thousands more New Jersey families would be cold this winter.

Finally, while we are counting our blessings this holiday season, we must put our network of intake agencies at the top of our list. We could never accomplish our mission without the support of our partners who are on the front lines assisting clients and processing applications. We are grateful to all of you!!! Thank you for your continued support. Happy holidays and a successful, healthy new year to all.



NJ SHARES receives $20,000 grant from the AGL Resources Foundation

NJ SHARES receives $20,000 grant from the AGL Resources Foundation

AGL Resources Foundation has generously donated $20,000 to NJ SHARES, enabling us to reach more New Jersey households who are facing a financial crisis and who are having trouble paying their energy bills.

“We are very grateful for this generous gift, which will enable us to help more of our neighbors who are currently facing a financial crisis,” said Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES’ executive director. “In the current economic climate and with the cold weather approaching, New Jersey residents will need our energy assistance grants more than ever before and gifts such as this one from AGL Resources will help us to meet this growing need.”
AGL Resources is the parent company of Elizabethtown Gas Company, a New Jersey-based gas utility company. The Foundation is a charitable entity that supports energy-related and educational initiatives.

“AGL Resources is committed to the communities we serve,” said Timothy Williams, AGL Resources’ manager of community affairs. “We provide an essential service, that is gas energy, to our customers, so we take our role as a corporate citizen very seriously. We are pleased to give our support to NJ SHARES whose business is to extend a helping hand to our neighbors.”


Events
NJ SHARES attend two important conferences that increase our ability to serve our clients.


Anti-Poverty Network Conference held at Trenton’s War Memorial

Anti-Poverty Network Conference

NJ SHARES’ executive director Jim Jacob, joined with Rev. Bruce H. Davidson of the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry, in presenting a workshop entitled Facing New Jersey’s Winter Heating Crisis, at the ninth annual Anti-Poverty Network Conference held at Trenton’s War Memorial.

Gov. Corzine attended the conference where he heard from a panel of people living in poverty in New Jersey, such as a man who couldn’t afford food or the woman who lost her home to a predatory lender because she didn’t understand the terms. The Governor gave a summary of the state and administration initiatives aimed at helping people living in poverty.

The conference’s four action-oriented workshops, which examined affordable housing, winter heating issues, health care reform and welfare advocacy, were a first step in formulating plans and advocacy efforts of the Anti-Poverty Network. In the near future, the Anti-Poverty Network will work to raise cash assistance grants, monitor the heating needs of low-income households, seek healthcare reform that is truly affordable for all, and assure that advances made in recent housing legislation are kept in place.

The Anti-Poverty Network, an information-oriented forum open to all concerned with ending or eliminating poverty, comprises more than 300 organizations, as well as hundreds of individuals. To learn more about Anti-Poverty Network, visit www.antipovertynetwork.org.
NJ SHARES is proud to be a part of the NJ Anti-Poverty Network.



Sen. Menendez addresses the crowd at the Center's reception

Center of Non-Profits’ 25th anniversary conference

The NJ SHARES’ staff was part of the celebration for the Center of Non-Profits’ 25th anniversary reception and conference on December 9 and 10. The Center has provided support and leadership to New Jersey’s non-profits and is the only umbrella organization for charities in the state.

The reception was hosted by Johnson & Johnson at their facility in New Brunswick, 130 attendees watched as Senator Robert Menendez received the 2008 award for Outstanding Public Policy Leadership. In his long career of public service, the senator has worked tirelessly for issues that effect non-profits, such as tax incentives for charitable giving.

The first speaker at the conference held in Jamesburg was New Jersey’s Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells who cautioned the approximately 200 participants that tough times are ahead and to try to combine essential services. Tim Delaney, Esq., gave a fascinating overview of the current political and economic situations, saying, “Our objective is not to make money, but to make a difference. We have got to have our voices heard. This is our government and we have got to have a seat at the table.”

The quote of the day may belong to James A. Hemm, executive director of the New Jersey Association on Correction and recipient of the Judith Trachtenberg Award, given for long time commitment to social justice, who quoted Margaret Meade, saying, “Never doubt that a few good people can make a difference. It is the only thing that ever could.”

Other awards winners were the Partner Award to PSE&G, presented at the reception, and the Chairperson’s Award to Etta Rudolf Denk. This year, the Center, in partnership with BD and the Star-Ledger, introduced the New Jersey Nonprofit Awards, whose inaugural winners were the Center for Prevention and Counseling, in Newton, and The Trenton’s Children’s Chorus, in Princeton. We thank them for their hard work and dedication.

After breakfast that included discussion tables of various topics such as web design, the participants attended the workshops of their choice. The keynote speaker was Darian Rodriguez Heyman, formerly the executive director of the Craigslist Foundation. For more information about the Center, visit www.njnonprofits.org.

Updates
Read about concert and sporting event fundraisers, answers to your questions, news from Verizon, important facts and tips.


The Rainbow Peace Choir performs at St. Andrew and Holy Communion Church.

Sound of music aids NJ SHARES’ clients

Thank you to musician Mel White and the Rainbow Peace Choir for sharing the warmth in their hearts to warm their neighbors’ homes with a holiday concert to benefit NJ SHARES. The concert was performed at St. Andrew and Holy Communion Church on Sunday, December 14. Funds raised at the concert will be matched by PSE& G and go directly to assist our neighbors with their heating bills. For more information on Mel White and her musical path, click www.smilingheartmusic.com or to sample her music, click www.cdbaby.com/melwhite7.


NJ DEVILS Fundraiser to benefit NJ SHARES

Get your tickets for NJ SHARES NIGHT at the New Jersey Devils game and join us as the NJ DEVILS take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The event will take place on Friday, January 30, 2009, at Newark’s Prudential Center. For Credit Card payment orders: Call John Tierney, Devils Group Sales, at 973-757-6250 or go to www.njshares.org for a downloadable mail-in form!


Did you know

•Increases in the cost of utilities are already having a devastating effect on New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations. Even with a relatively mild winter in 2007-2008, rising demand for energy assistance outstripped the ability of government programs, non-profit providers, and charitable agencies to meet needs.

•Organizations representing low and fixed income people point to an increase in respiratory and other physical ailments that result when people turn heat down to the point where health is jeopardized. The use of space heaters and candles to conserve heat and light pose life-threatening safety hazards.


FAQ: Answers to your most important questions

Q. I have checked your website, but right now you don’t have funds in my county. When do you expect to get more funding?

A. As was previously reported in this newsletter, the Governor has signed a bill directing $10 million to NJ SHARES. With this additional funding, we will be able to reach more of your clients who are currently facing a financial crisis, but don’t qualify for state and federal energy assistance programs. We will notify our intake agencies via email as soon as we receive the funds.



Agency Toolbox

NJ SHARES’ website contains information to help our network of intake agencies in their work. Here are a few useful tips:

•When you need to, you can get in touch with us through our Agency Change Form. A member of the Outreach team will respond. A link to this form can be found on the sign in screen before sign in and on the welcome screen under the heading Agency Request Form.



Verizon NJ offers Communications Lifeline to qualifying consumers

Customers qualify for Communications Lifeline and Link Up America if they receive benefits from a state or federal program such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, or PAAD, among others. Senior citizens, aged 65 and older, who do not participate in a program can also enroll if their income is at or below 150 percent of the poverty guidelines.

For more information about Verizon’s Communication Lifeline or Link Up America or to receive brochures or applications. Contact NJ SHARES’ call center at 1-888-337-3339. The staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.



Why we do what we do

The man from Tinton Falls had found the perfect apartment for himself and his two young daughters. The convenience store clerk scraped together money for a security deposit and the first month’s rent.

One problem stood between him and his new home: A past due utility bill from his previous apartment. Until his gas company received more than $1000 owed, he could not get the gas turned on his new apartment or get a certificate of occupancy.

His story has a happy ending. He turned to NJ SHARES and joined thousands of New Jersey residents who have sought our assistance this year.


New Jersey SHARES | www.njshares.org
1901 North Olden Avenue Extention Suite 1-A | Ewing, NJ 08618-2111
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
Copyright 2013, NJ SHARES.
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New Jersey SHARES
1901 North Olden Avenue Extension, Suite 1A | Ewing, NJ 08618
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
Copyright 1998-2017, NJ SHARES. All Rights Reserved.


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