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president's message

Jim Jacob, President & CEO

Spring is a time of renewal and growth.  Following that cue from nature, we have been busy around the state attending local community events and talking about our programs.

April 30 marks the seasonal close of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Until the program opens again in October, there are options available for income-eligible households in need of assistance with their utility bills.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) is available year-round to assist households with their energy affordability needs. USF helps lower gas and electricity costs for eligible households and was designed so that eligible residents do not have to pay more than 6 percent of their annual income for gas and electric service.

For those who do not meet USF qualifications and are not able to pay their energy bills due to circumstances beyond their control, NJ SHARES serves as a vital resource.  Since 1998, NJ SHARES has been able to assist more than 180,000 of our New Jersey neighbors in need.  This would not have been possible without the support of friends like you, as well as contributions from organizations and individuals, like the ones profiled in our recently published 2015 annual report.

We invite you to review our 2015 annual report to learn more about NJ SHARES. We thank all of those who have helped support us over the course of the past year in our efforts to help New Jersey households in need.  We hope you will continue to support our efforts in the future.

Warm Regards,

Jim Jacob


What's New

NJ SHARES 2015 Annual Report Released

Earlier this month, NJ SHARES released our 2015 Annual Report.  The report includes our financial statement and our program impact data, and also features a joint letter from NJ SHARES President and CEO Jim Jacob and Board Chairperson Alita Corbett.

We extend our sincerest thanks and gratiude to our donors, our corporate and foundation funders and our agency and legislative partners! Together we are making a real difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. Click here to view the web version of the report.  

Pictured in the PSE&G Box Suite are President and CEO Jim Jacob (Center) with Board Members Jacob Toporek and James Dieterle.

NJ SHARES Thanks Supporters at Night with NJ DEVILS

A huge Thank You to our corporate supporters, Verizon and PSE&G for donating their box suites for the NJ Devils game on April 9th at the Prudential Center.  We would also like to thank all of our supporters and friends who made a donation and enjoyed the NJ Devils take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.  All proceeds from this event went directly toward NJ SHARES' energy assistance program.

Pictured are NJ SHARES Vice Chairperson, Barbara Shissias and her family at the event.

NJ SHARES Thanks Supporters of the Morganville TGIFRIDAY'S Dine Out to Donate Event

NJ SHARES sends its sincerest thanks to TGIFRIDAY'S for the fun fundraising night they hosted for NJ SHARES on March 31! Additionally, we send another big THANK YOU to all of our partners, friends and families for coming out to support NJ SHARES at this Dine Out to Donate event! 

These events give NJ SHARES the opportunity to bring our program information to local communities.  It is also a great opportunity for us to engage our donors and supporters within the communities and share the direct impact our energy program makes on our neighbors in need.  Check out more photos from the event!   

Happening Now! NJ SHARES Exhibits at the Abilities Expo April 29 – May 1

This weekend, NJ SHARES will be at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center exhibiting at the NY Metro Abilities Expo. Thousands of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and healthcare professionals are expected to attend the Abilities Expo from April 29 – May 1, 2016.  The admission is free and show hours will be Friday -11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come down and talk to us about how our program may be able to help your household.

The expo will feature an impressive line-up of exhibits, workshops, events, celebrities and activities to appeal to people of all ages with the full spectrum of disabilities - including physical, learning, developmental and sensory disabilities.  Complimentary loaner scooters and wheelchair repair will also be available during show hours. 

Come down and stop by our booth - we would love to talk to you about how our program may be able to help your own household or friend in need.

NJ SHARES Partners with ShoreTel

At NJ SHARES, our Call Center handles up to 200,000 calls per year. We are always looking to improve our clients' overall experience – and in an effort to best serve our neighbors in need, we’ve formed a new partnership with ShoreTel, a leading provider of unified communications solutions and phone systems.  Through their innovative ShoreTel Connect™  CLOUD service, we have been able to provide better customer support to those who need it most. “ShoreTel’s ability to tailor services that enhance our business processes and their responsive customer service differentiated them from other companies. They worked around our needs,” said Kimberly Warrick, NJ SHARES' Director of Client Services.

Pictured with NJ SHARES' Linda Ellis (standing on left) are agency representatives from Bridges: A program of NJID; Plainfield Action Services; Catholic Charities – Dioceses of Metuchen; and the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development (PRAHD).

NJ SHARES Hosts Countywide Training in Middlesex

NJ SHARES is committed to training our partner agency's staff each year on our programs. Through site visits, trainings and group meetings, we provide the necessary information for our agencies to successfully apply eligible clients for NJ SHARES' programs.

Partnering with our network of local agencies provides a holistic solution to a household’s temporary or ongoing needs.  The group training held in Middlesex County at the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development (PRAHD) office on April 11, provided a new learning environment for our local partners to engage with NJ SHARES outreach staff, ask questions and received answers, hear questions that other providers have and network within their communities. 

NJ SHARES Client Services Call Center

Lillian M. in the NJ SHARES Client Services Call Center

NJ SHARES’ Client Services Call Center Introduces Lillian M.

NJ SHARES is pleased to introduce you to Lillian M., who recently began working for NJ SHARES as a bilingual customer service representative. 

“Helping people in need has always been a passion of mine," explained Lillian. “I am looking forward to using the skills I have and continue to learn through my experiences to successfully help others.”

Agency Spotlight

Pictured here are some of the Homefirst staff - from left to right: Jackie Crespo, Cuthbert Ashby, Gabriella Gomez, Lesli Price, Kera Thomas, Mercy Mwaura, Colleen Myrie, Kadian Peynado and Senior Family Support Coordinator, LaQuanna Webb.

Homefirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services

NJ SHARES is fortunate to partner with more than 230 agencies around the state. Each organization has a different mission and focus but all provide holistic solutions to their community.  This month we are pleased to highlight Homefirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services (Homefirst).

Homefirst provides transitional, supportive and permanent housing, homeless prevention assistance and social services to strengthen families and build communities.

“We at Homefirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services are honored to incorporate NJ SHARES as an additional tool to our Family Support and Homeless Prevention Services.  NJ SHARES will assist us with our mission to deliver comprehensive solutions to homelessness by strengthening families and building our communities,” said Executive Director Debbie-Ann Anderson.

Legislative Spotlight

Pictured are Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (left) and NJ SHARES' Kimberly Warrick.

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji was first elected to the New Jersey State Legislature in 2013 and is currently serving in his second term. A lawyer, healthcare investor, and former Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, Assemblyman Mukherji is a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, Commerce and Economic Development Committee, and Labor Committee.

Assemblyman Mukherji founded an Internet consulting and software company in sixth grade, grew the company, and sold it to a larger technology company to enlist in the U.S. Marines as a reservist two weeks after the September 11th attacks. Rising to the rank of Sergeant, he served in military intelligence in the Marine Corps Reserve. Assemblyman Mukherji earned his Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Edison State University, a Master of Liberal Arts from University of Pennsylvania, and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Seton Hall Law School.

In just his first term, Assemblyman Mukherji was a primary sponsor of 52 bills that were signed into law, which were focused on economic development and job creation; protecting seniors and expanding their access to healthcare and essential services; infrastructure; public safety; veterans; social justice; addiction prevention and treatment; and a myriad of other issues of importance to Hudson County.

As an urban legislator whose immigrant family faced economic hardship, Assemblyman Mukherji is more than familiar with the problems his constituents face when it comes to making ends meet. In an attempt to alleviate some of the stress associated with rising energy costs, NJ SHARES has stepped up to provide a vital service to those in urban communities throughout the state who may require assistance with covering the cost of their energy bills. The Assemblyman is proud to announce his partnership with NJ SHARES, a collective effort aimed at providing the residents of Hudson County with guidance and support while facing financial difficulties.

Starting on May 10, 2016, the Assemblyman’s office will begin accepting NJ SHARES applications. Constituents should feel free to contact his office or stop in to receive information on how to apply for NJ SHARES.


Pictured are: NJ SHARES' Jim Jacob, Mariya Burnell AVP Sun National Bank, Dena Shipley NJ SHARES and Rachel Lefkowitz VP Sun National Bank.

NJ SHARES Teams Up With New Community Partners at Lakewood Event

NJ SHARES’ new community partners Sun National Bank and the Family Food Relief of New Jersey collaborated to bring financial literacy education and energy assistance information to the Family Food Relief of New Jersey's Bulk Food Sale Event held on April 12th, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Lakewood.

Thousands of shoppers came out to the 11th Annual Bulk Food Sale Event in preparation for the Passover Holiday.  Sun National Bank and NJ SHARES staffed a booth together at the event and talked to many shoppers about financial literacy and energy assistance. Educational materials were provided for both adults and children.  The booth also featured giveaways, such as energy saving tips and coloring books.

Pictured are Assemblyman Chris Brown and NJ SHARES' Kimberly Warrick.

NJ SHARES Reaches Out to South Jersey Residents In Need

NJ SHARES recently participated in an event to help South Jersey residents facing tough economic times with record job losses prepare and manage their utility bills.

In partnership with Atlantic City Electric, an Excelon company, and Assemblyman Chris Brown, NJ SHARES met with the public at the Spruce Family Sucess Center, located at 3050 Spruce Ave, Egg Harbor Township, to review eligibility requirements for our energy, telephone and water assistance programs on April 26th from noon - 7:00 P.M. A multitude of programs and organizations were also there to provide information to those needing help, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Affordable Housing Alliance and Ocean, Inc.

Pictured are NJ SHARES' Jim Jacob and Dena Shipley; Alita Corbett of ACE and Bernadette Blackstock from People for People Foundation.

NJ SHARES Participated in Gloucester County Energy Expo

The Energy Expo, hosted by the People for People Foundation and Atlantic City Electric, an Excelon company, was held at the Gloucester County Library on 389 Wolfert Station Rd, in Mullica Hill, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on April 20.  Representatives from NJ SHARES, Atlantic City Electric, the Affordable Housing Alliance, Clarifi and Gateway Community Action Partnership were on hand to educate the public on various energy assistance programs that are available and take applications for households who meet the qualifications for those programs.

Pictured at the event from left are NJ SHARES' Dena Shipley, Jasmin Velazquez from Puerto Rican Action Committee in Woodbine and Alita Corbett, NJ SHARES Board Chairperson and Atlantic City Electric's Outreach Manager.

NJ SHARES Represented at 11th Annual Cape May Healthcare Resource Day

NJ SHARES participated in the 11th Annual Cape May Healthcare Resources Day on April 23 at the Wildwoods Convention Center.  The event, free and open to the public, was an excellent opportunity to share our program information alongside other organizations that provide assistance services to those within the community. The Health Care Resource Day featured an educational presentation given by a prominent physician, and the Parish Nurse Program provided free health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, peripheral artery disease and fracture risk. 

Anti-Poverty Network and National Association of Social Workers Members Tackle ‘Messaging on Poverty’

This month, NJ SHARES joined members of the Anti-Poverty Network of NJ and the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NJ) to discuss messaging on poverty. Using segments from the documentary film Dream On, a panel discussion, and a moderated group conversation, participants developed a toolkit on how to effectively discuss poverty issues in the current context.

Pictured at the event are NJ SHARES’ Client Services Director, Kimberly Warrick and Assemblyman Danielson.

NJ SHARES' Programs Highlighted at Somerset Job Fair

Assemblymen Joe Danielsen and Andrew Zwicker hosted a job fair on April 13 in Somerset. The fair was held at The Imperia, 1714 Easton Avenue, Somerset, NJ 08873, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members of the public attended the free event and networked with more than 70 recruiters for potential job opportunities with public and private entities within the Central Jersey region. 

NJ SHARES’ joined our partners to talk to local folks about our assistance programs.

"Many of our residents who remain unemployed or underemployed know that their skills and experience can be a real asset in the right workplace," said Assemblyman Danielsen (D-Middlesex/Somerset). "New Jersey has a well-educated and well-trained population looking for opportunities to work and support their families here, and the representatives who will be at the job fair want to give them a chance." 

"A job is about more than taking home a paycheck. We have highly knowledgeable and well-qualified men and women who want the opportunity to use their skills to make positive contributions to society," said Assemblyman Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). "This job fair will be a win-win for individuals looking for jobs and for employers looking for talent."

Pictured is the Honorable Lester Taylor Mayor of East Orange as he made opening remarks at the conference.

NJ SHARES Participated in 14th Annual East Orange Senior Conference

NJ SHARES hosted an information table at the 14th Annual East Orange Senior Conference on April 6, at the East Orange Senior Center, located at 90 Halsted Street.  Seniors came to the senior center to learn about programs and policies that are important and enable them to successfully sustain their households.

The Honorable Lester Taylor, Mayor of East Orange delivered opening remarks.  A panel of speakers provided vital information, and included: Otis L. Story, CEO, East Orange General Hospital; Eric Hartsfield, Director of Customer Assistance NJ BPU; and Reginald Douglas, Transportation Coordinator, Essex County Division of Senior Services.  

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