A special Thanksgiving effort came to fruition last week as individuals, businesses and churches donated everything including turkeys, produce, apples, bread, pies, and canned goods for those in need. The completed family dinners were assembled at Project Self-Sufficiency on Monday morning.
“This is a very important thing that Project Self-Sufficiency does,” said Kate McNamara, a worker for the agency and whose family purchased and donated 2,000 pounds of fresh produce from Al Kash farms. “It's great to be able to give to the community through this donation.”
The agency's meeting room was filled with bags ready to be stuffed when volunteers arrived to put the meals together.
“This is my second year and I think everything they do here is amazing,” said volunteer Kathleen Milller of Long Valley. “I work for Mars Inc. and I think it fantastic how the company sends volunteer to support important events like this one. It's my second year volunteering and it's amazing how people come together.”
Kyle Hriczak, of Budd Lake, also volunteered from Mars.
“It's great to be a part of something helping so many people in the community,” he said.
Thanks to the annual event, more than 350 Sussex County families will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings.
In addition to the vegetables, John Mathews, of Hinkley Auto Sales, and Project Self-Sufficiency volunteer Stephanie Supman donated fresh fruit. Frozen turkeys were donated by the ad hoc group of approximately 20 men and women known loosely as “The College of Knowledge.” Group member, Roy Knutsen, spearheads the donation each year.
The First Presbyterian Church of Newton Youth Group, along with help from the congregation, donated 200 freshly baked apple and pumpkin pies.
“The generosity of our friends and neighbors towards Project Self-Sufficiency participants is deeply appreciated during the holiday season,” said. Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency. “We have a lot to be thankful for this year.”
The agency is now well under way with its Season of Hope Toy drive. To donate new, unwrapped toys or gift cards, call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit: www.projectselfsufficiency.org.