Monday, November 22, 2010

Mom Helped by Holiday Gift Program Pays It Forward

Through the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program, low income families and single parent households, as well as elderly, homeless and physically or mentally disabled adults and teens are matched with people from the community who are willing to donate needed items.

Three years ago Jovannie, a recently divorced, single mother of three, found herself in the challenging position of having to provide for her family alone; she needed a job and office skills training. While taking computer and workforce training courses at the Women’s Rights Information Center,
Englewood, one of the Volunteer Center’s participatory agencies, she learned of the All Wrapped Up Program and through it was able to provide gifts for her children that Christmas. “I was worried—how would I make Christmas happen this year? It was very stressful and frightening to be on our own, with very little money,” she said. “I was so grateful and felt so blessed that there were people in the world that cared enough to help us during a very bleak time.”

Today, Jovannie is the coordinator of the Women’s Rights and
Information Center’s Shared Housing Project and coordinates the All Wrapped Program for 30 families in her program. She is hoping generous donors will step forward to help these families as she herself was helped three years ago.

“I am so blessed now, I’m working, my children are with me, we have a brighter future,” she says. “I tell the families in the Shared Housing Project to never give up hope, that there are people who will help them get over the rough patches, like the generous donors from All Wrapped Up who helped my family.”

You can watch more about Jovannie's story on NY1 here.

Those who wish to help a family or needy person this holiday season should click here to fill out a request form. Deadline for registrations is December 3, so that all gifts can be delivered and distributed by the holidays. Gift cards from Shop Rite, Pathmark and Target are also welcome, as are donations of cash which can be sent to the Volunteer Center of Bergen County,
64 Passaic St, Hackensack, NJ 07601.

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