From Monday to Thursday at the Jubilee Center, the kids arrive and get right to their homework. They
participate in activities like karate, yoga, arts & craft, reading and painting when they finish, and often socialize and help clean up until their parents arrive. However, Fridays are special. Thanks to a grant from the Hoboken Family Alliance, the Jubilee kids had a special surprise one Friday, every other month: an exciting celebration for the students that had birthdays within the month.
Long-time co-hosts Colleen Castle (volunteer), and Cindy Altberger (former ASCSDC Board member), aka, “The Cupcake Lady,” nicknamed by the JC kids, have been hosting the Jubilee Center children’s monthly birthday parties for over a decade. These birthday parties provide our children a day of fun and excitement. Revolving around different themes including Robots, Star Wars, Bugs, and Holidays, our children get to play games, make crafts, eat pizza and cupcakes, and be a kid.
The birthday celebration, which is held on a Friday each month during the school year, starts off with an educational word search activity. Whoever is able to solve the puzzle has their name placed in a bag. As the children begin a drumroll, a name is selected and that child is given a gift. Every child who celebrates their birthday for that month also gets a gift and a gift card for $25.00.
Through the HFA grant we were able to purchase items needed ranging from birthday supplies to gift certificates. At the Jubilee Center, we work everyday to make sure we provide opportunities for our children to thrive. Through the birthday celebrations, there is no doubt our children are creating positive memories they will carry with them throughout their lives. Thank you HFA!
I can’t thank you enough for your continued support of TRUE Mentors. We had our best school year to date last year and I am excited to continue capitalizing on that success! Below are some of the highlights of our year, as well as how we were able to spend the HFA money on field trips for our children.
When we entered the 2017-2018 school year, our goal was to increase the number of mentoring contact hours our children had by connecting them to 2 TM programs, which effectively doubles the amount of mentoring hours a child receives. I am pleased to share TRUE Mentors launched our 2018-2019 Enrichment Club Program with over 50% of our children enrolled in dual programs! This year, thanks to an increase in HFA funding, we were able to host a match celebration event, 5 summer field trips, and a bowling trip during the school year. We will also host 3 cooking clubs this school year, specifically requested by our students.
This June, we hosted a match celebration event for our mentors and mentees at Gravity Vault and had our highest attendance to date for a field trip (20 people)! For many of our mentees, this was a brand new experience for them and took them outside their comfort zone. It was so popular we hosted a field trip in July, inviting all of our students and mentors. With 18 mentors and mentees in attendance, we once again had a blast climbing the walls and competing in tug-of-war games.
It was tough to top our first summer field trip of the year to Gravity Vault, but we found a way straight to our kids hearts, a cooking class at Chef Bambino! Our students LOVE cooking (and also the eating) and had a blast doning chef hats and aprons and rolling up their sleeves to make empanadas, a first for all of our students. For our next trip, we headed to Turtle Back Zoo! The highlight of this trip was the touch tank with sharks and stingrays. Getting to touch sharks was a first for all of our students and fun to watch. This summer our students learned to play pickleball at the pop up courts and headed over to Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream afterwards.
We look to build on these successes in the 2017-2018 school year and look forward to applying for the Hoboken Family Alliance Community Neighbor’s Awards Grant again this year. Your dollars TRUE-ly make a difference in the children of Hoboken.
Creating TRUE Relationships,
Executive Director, TRUE Mentors
In Jesus Name Charities:
My granddaughter was born this summer and I held her one day as she cried panicked, bewildered and hungry while I struggled with one hand to get her bottle ready. That urgency went deep into my heart reminding me I cannot delay a second when I get an urgent call from a poorer mother that they are running out of formula.
Many Hoboken families face food insecurity on a regular basis but an infant is the most vulnerable. That’s why I am grateful for Hoboken Family Alliance’s commitment to our food pantry. The HFA grant is the security of poorer babies in Hoboken and even surrounding areas-The security of having a place to turn when formula for an infant is about to run out. There were 7 babies born in the months after receiving the grant, 5 more are expected and another 17 were still under 1 year and also turning to our pantry in insecure moments. And we were able to help.
We use the grant money to keep our baby cupboard stocked and buy specialty formula when need arises. . We only supply formula where there is no other resource. Keeping it emergency-based and verifiable makes it manageable. Formula is expensive. $6 a can of concentrate lasting little more than one day, almost $30 a can of powered formula lasting under one week. The grant goes quickly. We need about $150-$200 for each baby with an average of five responses over the course of first year of their life.
Our food pantry is a resource for any mother with a baby in precarious circumstances. We are the ONLY food pantry in Hudson County with a formula response so some social workers will refer their most desperate situations to us. One call made me go out after getting home for the day. That baby had a growth spurt and finished the formula unexpectedly. His mother said to me “That’s OK, I will just give him sugar water till you open tomorrow” I went back out and dropped off formula to her. I can’t bear the thought of a baby crying for formula. Thank you for the peace of mind and heart.
Grace and Peace,
Directing In Jesus Name Charities
Mile Square Theatre
The HFA grant supported our Young Audience Program with our production of The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi in May. We dedicated 14 performances to school groups, at a steeply discounted ticket price of $8. These performances were attended by a record number 1175 students, from 12 different schools, and multiple groups from many schools. The schools were mostly from Hoboken, though we also had a few from Union City attend.
The Young Audience Program is an effective vehicle for expanding access to live theatre for youth, which has many wonderful and important developmental benefits, including building emotional intelligence, empathy, and social bonding; additionally, it helps teachers address basic literacy goals and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards in Visual and Performing Arts, and to provide a bridge to Language Arts Literacy and Social Studies. Even more importantly, we hope they bring joy to theclassroom and inspire creativity in teaching practice.
MST thanks HFA for its long-standing support and we hope to continue to work with you.
Chris O’Connor, MST
HOPES CAP, Inc. is proud to announce that our Back to School community event
held on August 17th was a resounding success - thanks to you! Every child who walked through the gates on game day was able to take home a backpack full of school supplies and a lunch bag full of snacks. Every single child! There were more than 300 students who walked in, and we are incredibly grateful to be able to say that none walked out empty handed.
HOPES CAP, Inc. staff worked for weeks to prepare excitement for the hundreds of kids who would come to the event, but it would not have been possible without the amazing generosity of our community. We greatly appreciate all of our supporters who donated money, time, food, backpacks, lunch bags, and school supplies to help our event shine and give the community’s kids something to take home with them. Here’s a quick event rundown of what we had to offer for the kids:
- Hundreds of water bottles to combat the heat
- Free backpacks full of school supplies
- Free lunch bags with snacks
- Face painting
- Sand necklace
- ArtFlower pot decorating and seed planting
- Egg races
- Sack races
- Football toss relay race
- Corn hole
- Hula HoopsDance off competition
From the bottom of our hearts, HOPES CAP, Inc. staff would like to say thank you to HFA and to each and every person who made this event possible. Every donation, kind word, and hour volunteered combined together to help the children leave with smiles on their faces. At the end of the day, the reason that we put these events on is to make a difference in the community and to make everyone’s days a little bit brighter.
Thank you for working together with us to do just that at our Back to School event.
Community Programs Manager
HOPES CAP, Inc.
From Monday to Thursday at the Jubilee Center, the kids arrive and get right to their homework. They participate in activities like karate, yoga, arts & craft, reading and painting when they finish, and often socialize and help clean up until their parents arrive. However, Fridays are special. Thanks to a grant from the Hoboken Family Alliance, the Jubilee kids had a special surprise one Friday, every other month: an exciting celebration for the students that had birthdays within the month.Hudson County CASA was so pleased to receive a Community Grant from Hoboken Family Alliance this past winter and it has been able to put the funding to excellent use. The support was given for “Project Helping Hand,” a discrete fund to provide special items and services for children in foster care.
Just this month a 14-year old boy, Raquan, was given a bike purchased through Project Helping Hand. Raquan is living in an excellent foster home in Bergen County, his twelfth placement in the past five years. There he is attending a local public school where he is permitted to ride his bike. The bike was in part a reward for good behavior and Raquan was over the moon when he received it. He is separated from his two sisters and older brother who are all in different placements, his sisters in North Carolina. His mom wants to regain custody of her boys, but it is not clear if this will be possible.
Project Helping Hand encompasses little things as well as big. During CASA’s recent backpack distribution, four sisters who were all adopted by the same wonderful woman, requested journals as a supplement to the school supplies in their backpacks. CASA also outfitted a freshman’s room at Montclair State this August with the help of Project Helping Hand. And, it provided SAT tutoring for a rising high school senior girl who hopes to become a veterinarian.
Hudson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a non-profit dedicated to finding safe and permanent homes for foster children through the efforts of volunteers. For more information, please go to: www.hudsoncountycasa.org
Hudson County CASA
Hoboken Fire Department Museum
I can’t thank you enough for your continued support of TRUE Mentors. We had our best school year to date last year and I am excited to continue capitalizing on that success! Below are some of the highlights of our year, as well as how we were able to spend the HFA money on field trips for our children.The Hoboken Historical Museum is grateful to the Hoboken Family Alliance for its generous grant this year to support our expanded Fire Department Museum educational programs.
Thanks to HFA's grant, the Museum was able to expand the Storytime at the Fire Department Museum from twice a month to weekly, reaching double the number of children with a stimulating and fun story and craft hour at 1:30 pm every Sunday. In addition, we used the funds to add new toys, craft supplies and books at the Fire Department Museum that children can play with when they visit during the FDM's hours on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 - 5 pm.
And also, thanks to the HFA grant, we look forward to hosting a full house of local families at our annual Holiday Family Concert Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Fire Department Museum's upstairs assembly room.
The Museum appreciates all that the HFA does to enrich the lives of children and families across Hoboken, publicizing the Museum's events to its loyal audiences, and we reciprocate by sharing information about HFA-sponsored events through our social media channels.
Communications & Volunteer Coordinator
Hoboken Historical Museum
St. Francis Father Michael Food Pantry
My granddaughter was born this summer and I held her one day as she cried panicked, bewildered and hungry while I struggled with one hand to get her bottle ready. That urgency went deep into my heart reminding me I cannot delay a second when I get an urgent call from a poorer mother that they are running out of formula. Each day the food pantry, which is staffed completely by volunteers, distributes between 50 and 70 sandwiches a day, Monday through Friday at the St. Francis Rectory located at 308 Jefferson Street, Hoboken.
Those that we serve are either homeless, unemployed or underemployed and are in need of a meal. The constant stream of those in need of this service is testimony to the important gap we fill.
Each day we serve a sandwich, fruit or other snack and bottled water to anyone who shows at our door. There are no registration requirements as we feel that it is our obligation to serve everyone in need. Although we are a Catholic Parish, being a parishioner or even a Catholic is not a requirement for our services, we provide much needed nourishment to all.
In addition to the daily lunch program, the food pantry also distributes grocery bags monthly to over 25 families. Food for the bags is donated by parishioners and some local businesses. However, the parish also purchases many of the items placed in the bags. In addition, we supply food on an emergency basis to those registered families who find themselves short on food at a given time.
While much of what we distribute is donated, more is not. The parish spends over $20,000 per year on keeping both the lunch program and the grocery bag program running. Our funds come from our annual Wing and a Prayer fundraiser and from generous grants.
The Hoboken Family Alliance has been a faithful supporter of the Food Pantry. Their kind generosity has allowed us to maintain the food pantry services and has allowed us to increase our daily output. We are grateful to the HFA for it's partnership.