This holiday season consider offering your time and resources to those less fortunate around New Jersey. Whether offering an hour of your day at a local food kitchen, donating a pair of cozy pajamas, shoes or baby items, your deed will not go unnoticed to those in need. If you feel more comfortable making a monetary donation, our NJMOM Holiday Charity Guide has plenty of diverse recommendations for New Jersey non-profits in need of your financial contributions to directly impact our local communities this holiday season.
How does your family give back in New Jersey? Spread the love, and perhaps inspire another local family, by tagging #NJMOM for a chance to be featured on our social media.
New Jersey Kid-Friendly Charities:
● Holiday Express: The Holiday Express mission is to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year.
For a full schedule of performance events throughout New Jersey, visit Holiday Express on the web.
● December 16: BFF’s 4th Annual Ugly Sweater Fun 5K benefitting St. Judes Research Hospital, those that also bring new toys, those will be donated to Everyone’s Children Toy Drive.
The Doc’s Place 646 Bay Avenue Somers Point, NJ US 08244
Toy & Goods Drives:
Donate goods or volunteer your time at any one of these New Jersey Toy and Goods Drives.
● Project Self-Sufficiency Holiday Toy Drive: The annual goal of the Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive is to collect 20,000 new and unwrapped toys for distribution to children and teens.Items can be dropped off from November – December, Monday – Thursday, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM and Friday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
● In Jesus Name Charities: In conjunction with Faith Communities of Hoboken, In Jesus Name Charities collects food and clothing items. To learn how to schedule a donation appointment, volunteer for the labor bank, or learn where specifically your check donation will be going, visit them on the web.
● Pajama Program: The New Jersey Chapter of Pajama Program provides comforting, nurturing bedtime and literacy support to children through donations of pajamas and books, and by reading with children at designated reading centers. To learn how to donate and volunteer, visit them on the web or check out the New Jersey drop off locations.
● Howell Holiday Giveaway: Every year, dedicated volunteers collect gifts for hundreds of less fortunate families in Howell’s own backyard. For drop off dates and volunteer information, visit them on the web.
● Operation Sleighbells: Through the Family & Children’s Services signature program, you can adopt a family, host a collective drive, donate new gifts or monetary gifts and gift cards for impoverished children this Christmastime.
● Samaritans Purse: Operation Christmas Child: National Collection Week for shoe boxes of customized, age-appropriate holiday presents is November 14 – 21. But with the Collection Week passed, those that are interested in donating can donate a shoebox. To find your nearest drop-off location, visit the Shoebox Drop-off Location
● HomeFront: In addition to financial contributions, there are many other ways you can help. Donate household goods, food, and clothing through their Resource Network. To break out of the cycle of poverty, families not only need a roof over their heads, they also need food on the table, beds to sleep in and clothes for their kids and for their job.
● Community Vines: Community Vines and its inaugural vintage Rumon Red wine is a collaborative endeavor between Marilyn Schlossbach, James Foley of Seamus wines and Shore Point Distributors. A portion of sales from this vintage will be donated to the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and Lunch Break, New Jersey-based nonprofit organizations that, among other things, fight hunger in New Jersey communities.
Rumsen Red can be purchased at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, and other locations throughout the Jersey Shore.
● Grateful Bites Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant: Ability 2 Work is the revolutionary non-profit that operates Grateful Bites. 100% of the proceeds from Grateful Bites support the differently-abled in job sampling, training, and employment. Every purchase and donation at Grateful Bites goes to supporting an inclusive approach to autism by Ability 2 Work. Pie-A-Paloola is their biggest fundraiser of the year; order two Thanksgiving pies and get a free breakfast (all organic!) To pre-order, visit their website.
●JBJ Soul Kitchen: JBJ Soul Kitchen is a non-profit Community Restaurant, run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, that serves paying and in-need customers. One hour of volunteer time earns a dining certificate that feeds the volunteer and up to 4 family members.
207 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Volunteer or Donate to these important New Jersey Charitable Organizations:
● TRUE Mentors: TRUE Mentors is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded to help children develop healthy, strong relationships that allow them to reach their full potential.
● Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer: With the goal to continue fulfilling research grants, this family-run charity works to make it possible for researchers and doctors to discover less toxic treatments for our children which will ultimately give them new pieces to the cancer cure puzzle. Purchase the new single “Fighter” performed by Taylor Tote, Hannah Gorsegner, and Natalie Grace Gorsegner to contribute to the cause.
Learn what you can do by visiting their website.
● Michael’s Feat: The Michael Gerard Puharic Memorial Fund, Inc. is a local 501(c)3() non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort and easing the burden for parents carrying and caring for seriously ill newborns.
Learn how to volunteer and where to donate by visiting their website.
● Moms Helping Moms: Moms Helping Moms Foundation provides low-income families in New Jersey with the essential baby items that they need to give their children a safe, happy and healthy start.
Learn about ways to volunteer and donate by visiting their website.
North Plainfield, NJ.
● Asbury Park Music Foundation: The foundation’s youth initiative brings music and opportunity to youth thereby transforming lives and investing in the future of the Jersey Shore. They are raising money for programs, instruction, lessons, and instruments.
To donate to Asbury Park Music Foundation, visit their website
Asbury Park, NJ.
● Food for Thought by the Sea: Food for Thought provides local youth and adolescents with an opportunity to learn about the hospitality and the culinary industry. We achieve this with educational initiatives that support the environment and its local purveyors with affordable meals in our give-back food programs.
Donate to Food for Thought’s latest endeavor, Community Wheels Food Truck, by donating to their crowd-sourcing campaign.
Asbury Park, NJ.
● Salvation Army Seasonal Assistance: Be a part of Salvation Army’s timeless red kettle tradition by greeting holiday shoppers and spreading Christmas cheer. Bring your friends, family, and coworkers to sing and join by ringing a bell for donations in front of your local grocery store, library or city sidewalk.
Visit the Salvation Army website for an individual or group application.