Kim Guadagno is still cutting red tape while she is feeding thousands
By Art Gallagher
N.J. Looks to Award $2 Million to Buy Meals from Struggling Restaurants– A $2 million state program to provide $100,000 grants to organizations that purchase meals from restaurants impacted by the pandemic and distribute them at no cost to New Jersey residents has begun taking applications. Applications are due by Jan. 8. Click here for more information. (ROI-NJ)
I got excited when I read the above headline and lede in yesterday’s NJ Chamber of Commerce’s daily Coronavirus and Economic Recovery Update.
The RAINE Foundation immediately occurred to me as an organization that could spring to action and support local businesses while feeding those struggling to put food on the table. In my mind I was thinking of other community organizations and restaurants that could participate.
My enthusiasm quickly dissipated when I clicked through to Business.NJ.Gov and read the fine print. There’s the usual hoops to jump through for government work–proving your entity is registered with the state and has no outstanding tax issues. But there’s one big obstacle that would probably knock my friends at RAINE, the Highlands Business Partnership, Middletown Helps Its Own and other non-profits from participating in the NJ Economic Development Authority’s grant program.
Performance is One of Dozens Organized by the Non-Profit Organization this Holiday Season
Trenton, NJ – Highlighting the importance of volunteerism during the Christie Administration’s statewide “Season of Service,” Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today visited the Hawkswood School in Eatontown to participate in its annual Christmas program for special needs children and young adults. The event was part of the 19th season of giving organized by Holiday Express, a Monmouth County-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
“Over 1.5 million residents of New Jersey volunteer their time and energy to a range of important causes and charitable organizations annually, and these efforts take on heightened meaning during the holiday season,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “The state is fortunate to have so many fine non-profit organizations like Holiday Express that offer opportunities for civic-minded people to make a positive impact in their communities at this hopeful and joyous time of year.”
The Hawkswood School, formerly the School for Children, is a leading provider of high-quality educational services for children and young people, ages 3 to 21, with autism and other complex disabilities. Since its opening in 1976, its services have helped support and enrich the lives of over 3,000 students. As part of its 19th season of charitable programming, it is one of 55 unique events Holiday Express has scheduled across the area between November 15 and December 24.
“Lt. Governor Guadagno has been a long-time volunteer and supporter of Holiday Express,” said founder Tim McLoone. “It’s no surprise that she found time to volunteer today and give back to those in need.”
Founded in 1993, Holiday Express is comprised of more than 1,600 volunteers and professional musicians whose mission it is to offer music, food, gifts, financial support, and friendship to those less fortunate, during the holiday season and throughout the year. Their “interactive, free private parties” come complete with a rock n’ roll band, costumed characters, parodies, and of course a visit from Santa. Holiday Express visits the homeless and elderly, those with life-threatening illnesses, children and adults with mental or physical disabilities, and countless others in need across the tri-state area. For its work, Holiday Express appeared on a segment of the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams titled “Making a Difference.”
“As events of this year clearly demonstrated, the work of our volunteers is more important than ever,” added Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Moreover, these needs are ongoing and require attention 365 days a year across a wide range of areas. Thanks to the continued spirit of our civic-minded residents and organizations like Holiday Express, I’m confident that New Jerseyans will continue to answer the call to service in 2012 and beyond.”
Through the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, residents can find volunteer opportunities, as well as recognize individuals and groups that enhance New Jersey’s communities through service, by visiting volunteerism.nj.gov.