Monthly Archives: September 2015

Volunteer Leaders Needed for Two Programs

Adult Volunteers Needed

We are looking for adults to serve as volunteer leaders for the following programs:
Knit Crochet for a Cause – Volunteers knit and crochet items for children and families in need. Knitted items are donated to local homeless shelters and soup kitchens and to the Bundle of Joy program for newborn babies in Newark. This program meets once a week from Sept – April on Tuesday evenings at the Sparta Presbyterian Church from 7 to 8pm.  As an adult volunteer leader you would be assisting our teen volunteers to knit and or crochet, verifying attendance and serving as the program liaison. Training is provided. Anyone interested in this position please email or call the Pass It Along office at 973-726-9777.
Merriam Avenue Reading Buddies – Volunteers will be assisting with and practicing reading skills with 3rd grade students who have been identified as reading below grade level. The program will meet Monday – Thursday from 2:45 to 3:45 at the Merriam Avenue School in Newton.  Adult leaders are needed to supervise volunteers, verify attendance and serve as the liaison for the program.  Adults can share this position and do not need to attend everyday. Training is provided. Anyone interested in this position please email or call the Pass It Along office at 973-726-9777.

Name Change for ConKerr Cancer to Ryan's Case for Smiles

ConKerr Cancer is now Ryan's Case for Smiles

ConKerr Cancer is now Ryan’s Case for Smiles

Please note our ConKerr Cancer program has been renamed. Volunteers will still be meeting on Wednesday evenings and sewing the same beautiful pillowcases at the same location.  The only thing that is changing is the name.
After 7 years, ConKerr Cancer has changed their name to Ryan’s Case for Smiles and adopted the new tagline, “helping kids feel better to heal better,” to capture the non-profit organization’s growth and the impact of its volunteers. The new name reflects the evolution of the organization’s mission to serve all children with life changing illnesses and injuries – not just those with cancer, and honors the thousands of people who are creating smiles each day.
Ryan’s Case for Smiles is one of the few volunteer organizations solely dedicated to helping sick children cope with the stress of their illnesses and injuries.
A hospital stay can be a terrifying experience for a child. So terrifying that 20% of children who survive cancer meet the full clinical diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research shows that trauma can be minimized and outcomes can be improved through experiences that reduce stress. That’s where Ryan’s Case for Smiles comes in. Volunteers provide whimsical pillowcases that give children an emotional boost and remind them that they are not defined by their illness. While seemingly simple, a pillowcase provides 7 proven stress relievers that enhance the well being of the children and their families: comfort, play, choice, familiarity, expression, connection and hope. With improved emotional well-being, are more likely to regain their health faster.


NJ Devils & Pass It Along

Pass It Along, NJ Devils & Prudential Center Employees at the JFK School in Newark, NJ

Through the relationships that Pass It Along has built over the last 14 years with the different school districts throughout the state it was apparent that there were a few schools in Newark that could use some extra help.
Thanks to a relationship between Pass It Along and the NJ Devils over 500 children in Newark are now ready for the new school year!
All the backpacks were stuffed at the Prudential Center by the NJ Devils and Prudential Center employees. Kelly Bonventre, Director of Programs and Grant Development for Pass It Along said to the group of volunteers, “The impact goes beyond readying these kids for the first day of school, it’s readying them for the year.”
The first recipients were entire student body of John F. Kennedy School, a district wide middle-secondary special education school for those students’ ages 10-21 years old. Currently there are three programs at this school: Autistic, Multiple Disabilities with Moderate Cognitive Involvement and the Medically Fragile. On the first day of school, Thursday, September 3rd, Pass It Along was there to surprise the kids with the backpacks filled with the supplies needed for each student.
“Anything that anyone does for this population, for these children, it is always welcoming,” JFK Principal Glenda Johnson-Green said as Devils employees and Pass It Along staff interacted with the students.
The second group of kids was the approximate 300 students in grades 1-5 at South 17th Street. This school has approximately a 99% reduced or free lunch student population. These students received their backpacks on Thursday, September 9th, which were also filled with the supplies needed for each student.

New Fall 2015 Programs!

Volunteer PIA

Volunteer with Pass It Along

We are happy to be starting 2 new programs this Fall, Afternoons at Ginnie’s House and Merriam Avenue Reading Buddies.
Volunteer at Ginnie’s House will be providing homework help, playing games and doing arts and crafts and service projects with the children there. Ginnie’s House is a non profit Children’s Advocacy Center located in Newton that provides a child friendly environment where children are helped through coordinated efforts of child protection, law enforcement and prosecution, healthcare and mental health agencies when child abuse is suspected, disclosed or reported. This program will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 pm. Volunteers need to be at least 16 years old, preferably over 18, and participate in a training program to participate in this program.  If you are interested in volunteering for Afternoons at Ginnie’s House please email or call her at 973-726-9777. This opportunity is not listed on our website due to the training and sensitive nature of the program at Ginnie’s House.
Our Merriam Avenue Reading Buddies program is designed to help improve the reading scores at the 3rd grade level at the Merriam Avenue School in Newton. Volunteers will assist with and practice reading skills with 3rd grade students. This program will meet Mon – Thurs from 2:45 to 3:30  and will begin in late September.  You can sign up using this opportunity link: Merriam Ave Reading Buddies. Please note that while you do not need to attend everyday we do ask that you attend at least on a weekly basis.

Tilly's Kids Summer Program & Backpack Party a HUGE Success

2015 Backpack Party

2015 Backpack Party

Summer came and went but not until wonderful memories were created by our teen volunteers for the participants in our Tilly’s Kids Summer 2015 program, the link takes you to our photos. Our Wednesday Fun in the Sun program met with perfect weather each week. 36 Tilly’s Kids participants enjoyed the warm companionship of their “teen buddies” every Wednesday in July while they swam in the lake, played on the playground and went on a Nature Scavenger Hunt at Swartswood State Park.

At our Byram Day Camp program the kids stayed academically connected by learning about animals, the weather, and doing hands-on science experiments all while having fun with our amazing PIA teen volunteers. Special thanks to Sue Loyas for putting her heart and soul into teaching all the lessons.
Thanks to the generosity of so many people, we once again were able to send all of our Tilly’s Kids back to school with backpacks filled with school supplies. The kids were so excited to receive their beautiful new backpacks and were grateful for the much needed school supplies. Thanks to the many individuals who donated to this great program, especially Selective Insurance employees who donated 22 back packs and the Lake Mohawk Pool Swim team who donated 10.