United Way has released an announcement about a group of JCP&L employees who took part in the fourth annual United Way Day of Action. Here's what it said:
More than two dozen Jersey Central Power and Light volunteers fanned out across Morris, Sussex and Warren counties last week, answering a call by United Way of Northern New Jersey to get involved in improving our local communities during the fourth annual United Way Day of Action, a nationwide day of service campaign.
In conjunction with the Summer Solstice on June 21st, United Way annually raises awareness about struggling families and asks area residents in our five counties – Morris, North Essex, Somerset, Sussex and Warren -- to use the longest day of the year to lead by example and help a friend, neighbor, community member or agency in need.
“Hunger and need does not ever take a vacation,” said Michelle Roers, United Way’s chief professional officer in Morris County. “When everyone pitches in to do their part the entire community benefits. Volunteering can be as simple as mowing a neighbor’s yard or grocery shopping for someone with a disability. When individuals and organizations work together, we can make a huge difference – that’s Living United.”
In northern New Jersey, JCP&L volunteers sorted food donations at the in Morris Township and NORWESCAP Food Pantry in Phillipsburg, performed housekeeping duties at the Sussex County Adult Day Care Center in Newton and sorted clothing for the Madison-based, which provides suits to disadvantaged women seeking employment.
For many nonprofit agencies, especially food pantries, summer can be a difficult time as many people go on vacation resulting in fewer donations and available volunteers. Meanwhile, the need still exists. United Way research shows that nearly 25 percent of Morris County residents are the working poor or ALICE, (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, yet Employed), unable to earn enough to be self-sufficient. More than half of the 5,000 households served by the Interfaith Food Pantry last year included individuals who were working, said Carolyn Lake, the pantry’s assistant director.
JCP&L has been a loyal United Way supporter for many years, providing resources and volunteer manpower for various programs, including participating in Day of Action since its inception in 2008, making time for employees to participate during a work day.
"We work for a company that strongly encourages and supports volunteerism and community involvement,” said JCP&L President Don Lynch, who volunteered at the Interfaith Food Pantry, helping to restock one of the pantry’s distribution sites. “Our employees live and work in the communities we serve and it's important that we contribute and lend a hand."
Paul Zammarato, a JCP&L mapping technician, who lives in Boonton, said he appreciates having a good job and knows that not everyone today is as fortunate. That’s why he volunteered for a second consecutive United Way Day of Action.
“I used to work at a restaurant, bringing heaping plates of food to tables and half of it would end up in the garbage,” Zammarato said. “It always bothered me thinking that a family or a child was going to bed hungry that same night. I’m grateful for what I have and I’m happy to help in a small way.”
Dress for Success Executive Director Stefanie Conley said her organization relies heavily on volunteers and often looks to United Way to help them connect with volunteer resources.
“United Way provides significant help …and helps us to stay connected to the community through many great partnerships and valuable volunteer support,” Conley said.
United Way provides group volunteering activities throughout the year to help create change in northern New Jersey.