Winter drives focus on coats and homebound seniors

Newton. Project Self-Sufficiency is asking for donations of coats and jackets for local families in need, and of money and gift cards for homebound senior citizens.

Newton /
10 Nov 2020 | 05:02

Project Self-Sufficiency is conducting several drives to help local residents as winter nears — one to keep families in need warm, the other to brighten the holidays for homebound senior citizens.

Project Self-Sufficiency has teamed up with Pass it Along to gather new jackets and coats for children, teens, and adults this fall. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 17. Drop off sites have been established around the county, including at the following locations:

● First Hope Bank, 220 Woodport Road, Sparta

● First Hope Bank, 161 Newton Sparta Road, Andover

● High Point Regional High School, 299 Pidgeon Hill Road, Sussex

● Kittatinny Regional High School, 77 Halsey Road, Newton

● Mohawk Avenue School, 8 Mohawk Avenue, Sparta

● Pass it Along, 60 Blue Heron Rd # 101, Sparta

● Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill St., Newton

Donations will be accepted through Dec. 17.

“The pandemic has caused economic hardship for hundreds of children and families in our area,” said Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. “Many are out of work and others are straining their budgets to put food on the table. At the same time, schools and other organizations are stressing the importance of outdoor gathering, which just is not practical without warm outerwear. These families are in dire need of assistance.”

For more information about the new coat drive, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500, or Pass it Along at 973-726-9777. Monetary donations can be made at

Earth Angels

Project Self-Sufficiency is seeking monetary donations and gift cards to local stores to be distributed to senior citizens as part of the agency’s Earth Angels initiative.

During mid-December, students in the New Jersey Youth Corps high school diploma program at Project Self-Sufficiency will stuff festive bags with the cards and gifts. The items will be delivered by volunteers and Project Self-Sufficiency staff to homebound seniors during the week leading up to Christmas.

Along with monetary contributions, the agency is seeking the donation of gift cards from local retailers, including Kohl’s, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Wal-Mart, Weis and the hair salons at the Homestead and Liberty Towers senior residences.

Newton attorney Elenora L. Benz, Esquire, originated the Earth Angels program in 1999 by enlisting the support of her staff member Mary Jones, along with clients, business colleagues, and community volunteers. Although most Earth Angels recipients reside in Newton’s Liberty Towers and Frankford’s Homestead, organizers hope to reach additional senior citizens in other parts of the county as the program grows.

Monetary donations may be made at or by making out a check to “Project Self-Sufficiency” and indicating “Earth Angels” on the memo line. Donations of checks and gift cards can be dropped off at Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill St., Newton.

About Project Self-Sufficiency
Project Self-Sufficiency has served families in northwestern New Jersey for more than 30 years. The agency’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of holistic, respectful, and comprehensive services enabling low-income single parents, teen parents, two-parent families, and displaced homemakers to achieve personal and economic self-sufficiency, family stability, and to improve their lives and the lives of their children.