When I signed up to be a Shelter Helper on a Friday night for Christ Temple Church Ministry’s CTCM Blue Warming Station (CTCM) in Newark, I did not know what to expect. Open up to 3 days a week, and only on nights when the temperature falls below 32 degrees, the church and staff of CTCM go out of their way to provide a safe, warm, peaceful environment to its guests.
On nights when they are open to house the homeless, they transform the main room into a shelter filled with as many cots as they can, so they can help as many people as possible.
DoSomething.org is the future of volunteer and activism experiences. The non-profit uses a digital platform to power offline action through hundreds of grass-roots volunteer, social change, awareness and civic action campaigns.
Targeted at ages 13 – 30, the campaigns can be completed by individuals or groups, without any need for transportation, funding by participants, or oversight. Young adults love to get involved and make a difference. They are passionate about causes they identify with. DoSomething.org taps into that potential and makes getting active super easy and super fun, empowering teens and young adults to drive social change.
Sometimes participating in a charity can be super simple – like enjoying a charity dinner… which is what my husband and I decided to do for Thanksgiving. For us, it was an easy choice. Thanksgiving is typically just the two of us. Our tradition is to take the train into NYC, look at the holiday window displays, do a little holiday shopping at Bryant Park’s Winter Village, then have Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant (Blue Fin on Times Square has been our go-to). It’s a really fun tradition – the city is full of lights, energy and happiness, bright decorations and holiday music. Everyone is friendly and you’re surrounded by the excitement of tourists.
At the start of one episode of FRIENDS, Joey and Phoebe have an argument on whether there is such a thing as a selfless good deed. Joey’s belief is that a selfless good deed is impossible because when you do something for someone else you feel good about it… you’re getting something out of it thus it becomes a selfish act. “Look, there’s no unselfish good deed. Sorry.” He says. Phoebe spends the rest of the episode doing a host of activities to help others, unsuccessfully trying to prove him wrong. My question is… does it matter if you benefit? Read more
500 two by fours, 50 gallons of paint and 150 pounds of nails build an average 1,200 sq-foot Habitat For Humanity (HFH) house. Those raw materials transform lives and bring security, hope and a sense of pride to needy families. The Dover site has 4 houses being built simultaneously, one of which is for an Army Veteran whose military resume includes participation in Desert Storm (Iraq) and battles in Afghanistan. Read more
Homeless families working to get back on their feet struggle to provide their children with necessities like clothing and food. They struggle to find affordable housing, pay bills, get medical care and pay for child care. Non-necessities which our society often take for granted, such as the ability to buy your child toys, books or gifts, to throw them birthday parties, to take a trip to the movies, etc. – are privileges these families simply cannot afford. Read more
St. Lucy’s Shelter is located a few short blocks north of the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, in a traffic-congested, gritty area of Jersey City. The beautiful architecture of the former church turned shelter is dwarfed by textile mills, warehouses and big box stores which surround it. I’m here to help serve dinner to the current residents/clients….