Category Archives: #HipNJ Cares

#HipNJ Cares highlights the Garden State’s heart of gold. We feature passionate charity efforts and the philanthropic all-stars behind these important initiatives!

#MakeADifferenceDay Jersey Cares

USA Weekend Magazine created Make A Difference Day back in 1992. Since then, many organizations have supported, developing campaigns centered around the holiday. Now, USA Today is its primary sponsor and organizer. It is the #1 location to find ways in which you can make a difference. Ways to celebrate are limitless. 

There are numerous organizations across the globe that focus on making a difference daily. #HipNJ would like to highlight Jersey Cares, a program filled with hundreds of volunteer opportunities, open to everyone! The make volunteering super simple! First you register, and then you can choose a volunteer opportunity, participate in an annual event, start a collection drive, or even get your company involved in their Corporate Service Program

Volunteer Opportunities 

Jersey Cares has volunteer opportunities available  every single day. For the remainder of the month, they have opportunities such as Marketplace, Tutoring and Mentoring, Pet Therapy, Halloween Costume Drives, Earth Keepers, Mobile Meals, Caring Closet, Care of the Park, Hunger Helpers, and so much more!

Annual Events 

Jersey Cares holds their Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event annually in order to embody Dr. King’s vision, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together. The goal is to strengthen their communities and build a stronger New Jersey. This year, 1700 volunteers in 20 service projects, across 10 counties, honored the legacy of Dr. MLK Jr. by serving hot meals to those who needed them, creating blankets for the homeless, painting murals in schools, sending time with seniors, and more! 

They also hold their September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance event annually. In 2017, they gathered 500 volunteers at a Jersey City high school. Volunteers honored those who were affected by 9/11 through projects such as creating thank-you kits for first responders, landscaping the schools 9/11 memorial, and painting inspirational murals in the hallway. 

Customized Corporate Service Programs

Becoming a Jersey Cares Partner means getting your company involved in a non-profit partnership that will benefit the community. Your company will receive customized volunteer project planning services for your employees, clients, vendors, family members and anyone else you choose. So far, Jersey Care Partners have participated in interactive workshops, financial literacy and resume building workshops, greenhouse building and more!

In addition, apart of the Customized Corporate Service Program is The Jersey Cares On the Go Program. It provides employees the opportunity to contribute to their communities through team-based projects that are implemented right in their offices or on-site at a conference!

As you can see, making a difference is made simple by Jersey Cares. Let’s join them today!

As they say, “Be the change. Volunteer.”

Blow Outs for Boobies Fundraiser!

Three years ago, my daughter came home asking for a pink extension in her hair. She wanted the extension since all of her friends had one. Since I’m not one to follow the mainstream, I agreed to let her get the pink extension with a caveat. She had to figure out a way to raise money to donate. My ex mother in law had a mastectomy, and I’ve had friends diagnosed with breast cancer. For these reasons, this is a cause that is near to my heart.

We took to Google to find a salon that put in extensions. We came across Dolce Hair Design in Lyndhurst. After research, on pricing, etc we found the salon was hosting a Blow Outs for Boobies fundraiser. We stopped in the salon, and after getting her pink extension my daughter made her pitch to owner Nicole Scott. She asked Nicole if she (with moms help) could make and sell cupcakes the day of the event. We would take our proceeds and add them to what the salon raised. Nicole immediately said yes, and there began our tradition of participating in this yearly event.

Blow Outs for Boobies stemmed as a partnership with the Lyndhurst Police Departments Pink Patch Project, which started in 2015. Nicole, and her sister Michele, wanted to get involved because they personally know many women, inclusive of some clients, who have been affected by breast cancer. Not being women to sit on the sidelines, they rallied their amazing staff and got involved in 2016. This is their third year partnering with the LPD and to date have raised over $5000!

The Lyndhurst Police Department is one of the Pink Patch partners, and it’s spearheaded by Sergeant Rick Pizzutti.  Sgt. Pizzutti uses this as a platform to bring awareness to the disease, while raising money for the John Theurer Cancer Center, in Hackensack.  The LPD raises money, and awareness, not just by supporting Blow Outs for Boobies, but also by selling pink patches and tee shirts all throughout the month of October. All proceeds donated to the John Theurer Cancer Center.

This year’s event is on Sunday October 28th, from 11am-3pm.  Blowouts are $25, and everyone who participates will be entered into an iPad raffle. There will be music, other giveaways and of course pink frosted cupcakes and pink lemonade. Please stop by and get a fabulous blowout, cupcake and enjoy some great music. As always, 100% of the proceeds will be donated.

Fabulous Females: Parker Sanchez

There’s a meme I see often – “Real Queens Fix Each Other’s Crowns.” This month’s Fabulous Female very appropriately has a real crown! Parker Sanchez, from Hardwick, is the reigning Mrs. Universal. On top of that she’s a part time SAHM of two active toddlers and works part time at The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms. Parker recently changed careers after teaching ballroom dancing for over a decade. Prior to teaching dance, Parker attended Fordham University, where she obtained a B.A. in American Studies and an M.A. in History. Beauty and brains!

Parker has been involved in pageantry for ten years, and once she entered her first pageant she was hooked. For her it was a way to network with incredibly passionate, driven women who were doing serious volunteerism and using their titles to promote causes dear to their hearts. Parker is an ambassador and advisor for The Unmentionables, a nonprofit organization that provides forcibly displaced individuals and communities around the world with safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health education, services, and protection and empowerment programs.

Parker manages to single handedly run a household with two toddlers and a husband who’s in law enforcement (with a crazy schedule), volunteer for The Unmentionables and use her title as a megaphone to promote other causes she cares about. It’s exhaustive, but she has the support of her husband Pablo, or as she calls him, “Mr. Universal.” She told me that Pablo isn’t the type of guy to ask “why?”, but instead says “why not?” to any crazy idea or plan she has. There’s nothing more empowering for a woman than a husband who’s supporting and understanding (oh yeah and he’s my cousin!).

When I asked Parker how she’s able to juggle everything, she said she multitasks like a boss! For her the drive is that she wants her children see a mom who’s passionate about bettering the world, and to demonstrate to them that you can do anything you set your mind to … and of course Starbucks helps!! Give me that red eye stat!