Back in the 1930’s, a song entitled “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” spoke of the hard times the normally self sufficient hard working American citizens suffered during the Great Depression. It spoke of the workers building the railroad and industrial might of the country, but falling on hard times when the economy suffered. When the crash happened workers that were living the American dream were now standing “in line waiting for bread”, facing evictions and foreclosures and looking for any kind of work. Not unlike today.
Newspapers have been filled with articles about the “Underemployed Families” and those on fixed incomes such as seniors or those on disability facing difficult times in their lives due to no fault of their own. How Homeless Shelters and help agencies are dealing with more and more Middle to Moderate income families that never imagined themselves needing help to survive. How there are very few shelter beds, funds, or services available to those not on welfare or other public assistance. To quote one public official, “The middle class homeless are too wealthy for government assistance but too poor to make ends meet.” “We now we have a lot of people not on welfare with nowhere to go for help.”
We here at People for People realized this a long time ago and have been working with the “Normally Self Sufficient” since 2003. We saw the need to help those that do not readily qualify for government assistance and set out to help them through monetary grants and serving as case managers and advocates on their behalf in their time of need. Since 2003 People for People has worked with over 2500 individuals and families that have “Fallen Through the Cracks” of traditional assistance.
Through our one of a kind Hands Across the County Web Program we can communicate with over one hundred help providers simultaneously ranging from government agencies and other charities, to more non-traditional organizations such as religious groups, service clubs, and concerned business, to seek help for those not knowing where to turn to for help that fall outside the range of government assistance.
People for People does not receive ANY funding from the government or other charitable agencies such as the United Way. All our funding to provide grants and serve as case managers for those in need come from people like you and your neighbors. Please, HELP US HELP OTHERS, like you and others you know.
Log into our website at: http://pfpfoundation.org to make an online donation using a credit card or send your donation to PO Box 256 Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
People for People is a 501(c)3 non profit organization.
Gloucester County has without a doubt one of the most beautiful Veteran’s Cemeteries in the country and one we can all be proud of. For years other communities throughout the country have participated in a program where veterans and volunteers come together to raise funds to purchase and lay wreaths on the grave sites of veterans and family members in their communities buried in local Veteran Cemeteries as a gesture of honor and remembrance. Gloucester County will be joining the ranks of these other communities in honoring our veterans at a special ceremony at noon on December 11th 2010 at the Gloucester County Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Monroe Township. The goal is to lay 1100 wreaths covering all the grave sites at the Gloucester County Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery and conducting a ceremony of remembrance.
To do this however, we need your help. We are seeking donations to purchase the wreaths as well as volunteers to help us lay the wreaths at the grave sites on December 11th prior to the noon dedication. We have made the commitment of laying 1100 wreaths this year, the number of grave sites currently at the cemetery, and making this an annual event.
People for People of Gloucester County, The Veterans Advisory Committee, The Civil Air Patrol, Lora & Rich Gess and the Rotary Clubs of Glassboro and Washington Twp Breakfast are spearheading this effort to raise the funds needed and laying the Wreaths of Remembrance at the Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery. We invite you to join us in honoring the memory of the 1100 Veterans and family members who are interred at the Cemetary.
- Wreaths with ribbons can be purchased at $5.00 each.
- Volunteers are needed to help lay the Wreaths of Remembrance
- Ceremony will take place on Dec. 11, 2010 at noon
Wreaths can be purchased:
- By sending a check made payable to: “People For People” Please write “Wreaths” in the memo line.
Mail to: PO Box 256 Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
- Go to http://pfpfoundation.givezooks.com/campaigns/wreaths-of-remembrance to purchase on line with a credit card
All donations must be received by December 1st 2010. All money raised towards the “Wreaths of Remembrance” program will go directly to the purchase of the wreaths. This is not a fund raiser for any organization or group and 100% of all funds raised will go directly to the program.
Paul and Bernadette Blackstock 856-694-1355
Wow! was it cold this morning, I knew winter was coming but 26 degrees. Burr. As I sat and drank my coffee I thought about how blessed I am. There’s oil in the tank, electric to brew my coffee and hot water so I could shower. Basics but needed. Then my thoughts moved to the calls we had at People for People this week from families needing oil, those needing help paying utilities bills, and one man needed help paying for a hot water heater repair. Emergency oil assistance is very hard to find. Funding for everything is very low. But through People for People’s “Hands Across the County” program we were able to locate 100 gallons of oil for a disabled couple with a 7 year old child. Amazing isn’t it. $254.00 for 100 gallons of oil. To some that sounds like such a small amount of money, to others it could be two weeks pay.
At People for People we carefully review each applicant’s request and do our best to match them with the right funding. That funding could be a government grant program such as NJ Shares or LiHeap. If the applicant matches the criteria for the People for People Direct Grant program we act accordingly. We receive well over 100 requests for help each month. These requests range from utility and rental assistance to a request to help make a bathroom handicap accessible for young girl with cerebral palsy and everything in between. There are two things each request has in common: 1. Need for services and 2. Need for Funding. There seems to be no shortage of need but there is a great shortage of funding. Government grants have been cut by over 10% and have not been released for distribution yet. Most of the grants are restrictive and would not apply to many of the requests we receive. Sponsorship monies from corporations have been cut and individual donations are down.
Many of the requests we receive come from people who have never asked for assistance before. People just like you and me.
As we enter the “Season of Giving”, I am asking you to consider donating to the People for People “Seasonal Giving” campaign.
You can make a difference:
Click here to make a donation: Seasonal Giving Campaign
What We Already Knew
A recent US Census Bureau report stated that the number of people in poverty reached its highest level on record in 2009. They put the poverty rate at 14.3 %. This national rate is the highest since 1994 and among the working age poor, the highest since the 1960s. The report goes on to state that 43.6 million people, or 1 in 7 lived in poverty in 2009. That is an increase of 39.8 million people from 2008 and a substantial increase from 2007.
Those of us that work to help people in need didn’t have to wait for a government report to tell us what has been happening out there. We have been dealing with these facts for the past several years and thing are only going to get worse before they get better. Many agencies are dealing with reduced government budgets and those of us in the private sector are facing lower donations from the public. Couple these facts with an ever increasing demand for assistance from the public, and it is evident that we are all hurting. We as help providers, whether we are government funded, or private organizations, can’t completely provide the level of assistance we once could on our own because the of the multiple levels of help needed today and the fact that the number of people seeking this help is so much greater then ever before.
The need as help providers to join together and pool resources and expertise is needed now more then ever before. That is why the People for People “Hands Across the County” program has had a major impact so far in the area and is expanding its efforts.
As a member of Hands Across the County program you may have already received emails seeking help from other organizations trying to find additional assistance with a client they may be working with. You probably received some, but not all of the requests for help that have been sent so far. In many cases emails seeking help will only go to those organizations that may have the ability or resources to help with a particular situation. On other occasions a blast email will go out to all seeking help if there are multiple needs. As new member agencies and organizations come on board you will be seeing an increase in requests for help. The Hands Across the County program will also be expanding to Hands Across the Counties bringing in Camden, Salem, and Cumberland Counties as well. The need for help doesn’t stop at county lines and many of us are already working with those in need as well as other agencies in other counties.
In February 2010, People for People held its first conference to roll out Hands Across the County and to provide a forum for the help provider community to network with each other, both traditional and non-traditional organizations, and to share with each other what services and programs they provide. In August 2010, People for People in partnership with Atlantic City Electric and New Jersey Shares held a conference that served as a networking opportunity as well as an educational forum to provide important information about NJS and other utility programs. Both events were well attended and well received. In October 2010 People for People will be sponsoring a conference on homelessness with the goal to better define who does what and what services are out there that we as help providers can turn to when we are faced with a homeless situation. The conference will also provide information about what services the Gloucester County Library System provides and the tools that are available to help those seeking help or employment.
Have you ever said that…..I never thought it could happen to me. I was speaking with a woman who was applying to People for People for assistance with her mortgage payment and utility bill. She’s in her mid-fifties, married to a veteran in his 60’s and raising a grandchild as her own. Both she and her husband worked, had decent jobs and then last year she was downsized. It didn’t take long to go through saving, she tried to get another job, but was encouraged by unemployment to retrain for another position. She chose “medical coding”. She will have her certificate at the end of August, maybe she will find a job. But as luck would have it her husband suffered a heart attack and has lost time from work. “I never thought at my age I would need to ask for help”, “I never thought this could happen to me”. Because her husband is a Veteran, People for People made a referral to “Operation Red Shield” for assistance. Her needs were much greater than we could help with alone through our Direct Grant Program, but together with another agency we were able to ease the stress while she and her husband got back on their feet. What she needed was someone to listen and thoughtfully recommend solutions.
I hear this everyday. More so than ever in the last 18 months. A lot of people have lost jobs, had hours cut, and have become ill. The hardest part for me is that I realize that any one of us could be saying at any time “I never thought ….”
Please consider helping us ease the stress of families like this one. Consider becoming a member of the 200+ Club. Can you commit $200 a year to help a neighbor? Maybe you would like to join us at our upcoming events in Sept.
Sept 18th Coach Bingo Party
Each of us is only a moment away from “I never thought……….”
Since its formal roll out in February 2010 the Hands Across the County Program has been a big success. It has been serving as a means of communications between member entities whose mission is to provide help to those in need within the community. This diverse group ranges from government agencies, elected officials offices, non-profits and charities that administer government funded programs, private charities, service organizations, faith based groups, and even informal community action groups seeking to help their neighbors in need. Over seventy five organizations have come on board so far with many more to follow.
The big advantage of the Hands Across the County member web site is the ability for individual help providers to communicate simultaneously with a wide range of other help providers seeking additional assistance for someone in need that they alone cannot totally fulfill. For example, if a family is seeking assistance and they come to your agency seeking help with utilities, food, clothing, rental assistance or other needs, your organization would provide the assistance you are able to provide on your own, but then you will be able to have their others needs broadcast to other help providers in the community seeking the additional assistance needed.
This would be done through Blast Emails through the Hands Across the County program. The email blasts can be sent to all member agencies, or a select few that specialize in the type of help needed. This would eliminate numerous calls and a great deal of time currently spent by the help provider and those seeking help to try to find additional help for their problems. If after other help providers read the requests for help and can offer additional assistance, then a line of communications can be quickly established and the needs of those in crisis can be better fulfilled. We will be able to pool resources and expertise together as community team, and do so quickly.
One benefit that has developed with Hands Across the County is that with so many different organization now communicating with each other, those seeking to “double dip” can be identified. On more than one occasion someone already receiving help for certain items from one source have come to us seeking the same help over and above what they have already received to take care of the need. This will be beneficial during the holiday season when some will try to hoard more then they need.
Another feature of the Hands Across the County program is that your organization will be able to post announcements about your organization for all other members to see. These announcements can range from new programs your group is offering to changes in current programs, to open enrollments to program deadlines. Groups can also post on the Community Calendar special events they are holding such as fund raisers and award programs so that the community help providers are not planning their events on top of each other thus crowding specific dates.
In the works is our public access page “Request for Help” that will be is located on the new People for People web site where member agencies as well as other referral groups will be able to post information about people they are trying to help, but may need assistance from the general public as well. An example would be a family needing help with medical bills for a child that suddenly became ill. Few programs provide such help, but we would post the information about the need on the People for People web site that is open to the public, and the public can review this case as well as others, and be able to donate directly to the cause they choose using their credit card or PayPal. This will allow exposure for those seeking help through the World Wide Web that could help with their needs. Of course in all communications, the identities of those seeking help is protected.
Also, people for People will be expanding their efforts to offer to other non-profits, charities, and help providers, both traditional and non-traditional, the opportunity to participate in networking events with both the help provider community and the business community. People for People will also be providing workshops and educational programs on topics such as Grant Writing, Business Networking, Seeking and Training Volunteers, and other useful topics.
Our next event will be a partnership effort between People for People and Atlantic City Electric in presenting an ENERGY FORUM on July 15th 2010 starting at 8:30 AM at the Mullica Hill Library. This forum will feature representatives from LIHEAP AND NJ SHARES. For more information contact Bernadette Blackstock at 856-579-7561 or at email@example.com to register.
If you would like to comment to this article, write an article of your own about your organization on this blog, or simply offer information that you feel would be helpful to those that would read this blog, please contact me, Paul Blackstock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our website: www.pfpfoundation.org
The People for People Foundation has launched a new Strategic Growth Initiative. Camp Salute is a low to moderate income permanent housing facility that will house veterans, disabled veterans and spouses of deceased Veterans. We are currently looking for 5 acres in Gloucester County.
Welcome to our blog. Here, you will find regular updates of our projects, fundraisers, and other community events.
People for People introduces new strategic growth initiative: "CAMP SALUTE" low to moderate income housing for Veterans. Click this link to read article in the Gloucester County Times http://www.nj.com/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1277626211265630.xml&coll=8