Give Thanks, Give Back This November

Traditionally, November is a month to reflect and give thanks for the people we hold close in our lives. Last week, Hurricane Sandy hit our native New Jersey and the rest of the east coast hard. Here are a few organizations helping those affected by Sandy, as well as a few local and national charities that strive to do good year round for a variety of causes.

Who: Jersey Cares
What: An NJ-based volunteer organization that works for multiple causes throughout the year, including everything from food drives, pet therapy and soup kitchens.  Currently, volunteers are needed to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. ASE’s own Event Assistant Megan McHugh recently spent a day volunteering at a local rehab center with Jersey Cares!
How to help: Visit the website to find events that need volunteers. You can spend as little as one hour; every bit counts. Monetary donations are also welcome.

Who: The Salvation Army
What: The iconic organization focuses on bringing Americans the basic necessities of life—food, shelter and warmth. The Salvation Army also dedicates resources to music programs, missing persons, Christmas and seasonal charities and disaster relief, among other causes. Due to Hurricane Sandy, the South Jersey Salvation Army Division Headquarters was uprooted. After the storm, headquarters relocated to our hometown of Montclair, where ASE founder Allison Sargent spent a day preparing warm meals for those in need.
How to help: Visit the website to find out how to volunteer your time. You can also help by donating clothes to your local Salvation Army thrift store, automobiles, airline miles and monetary donations.

Who: Table to Table
What: A community-based program that collects prepared and perishable meals that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve the hungry around northern NJ.
How to help: Food donations must be prepared or stored in a commercial kitchen or food establishment. You can also volunteer your time and any special services you have to offer.

Who: Wish Upon A Wedding
What: An organization that sponsors free-of-charge weddings for couples facing serious life-altering circumstances. Wish Upon A Wedding takes care of all the wedding planning details, from the venue to the cake.
How to help: Wish Upon A Wedding needs those in the Hospitality and Event Planning industry—caterers, DJs, cake decorators and photographers, this means you!

Who: One Warm Coat
What: An organization whose mission is to “Collect coats to give to those in need, free of charge.” Most coat drives are held around this time, when temperatures are dropping across the country.
How to help: Donate a gently used coat to a local coat drive in your neighborhood, or hold a coat drive of your own. One Warm Coat’s website has guidelines for holding a successful coat drive in your area.

Who: FeedingNYC
What: An organization that hand-delivers full Thanksgiving meals to families in need across the five boroughs. Last year, more than 20,000 meals were delivered to those facing hunger who are in partnership with Women in Need, the Jewish Federation, Catholic Charities and City Harvest.
How to help: Register to volunteer on November 20th, 2012 to pack and deliver meals. You can also choose to sponsor a family—$35 feeds one family, $175 feeds five.

Who: Kessler Foundation
What: A public charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
How to help: ASE has recently been working with the Kessler Foundation to organize a Monte Carlo Night Fundraiser this month; however, as a result of the storm the foundation has decided to postpone their original plans and hold a boardwalk-themed event in honor of the Jersey Shore. This Sandy-relief fundraiser will benefit people with disabilities who were affected by the storm. The event, which is open to the public, will be held on November 15th at the Grove in Cedar Grove, NJ from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets may be purchased in advance online for $50, or at the door for $60. Here’s your invitation!

Tell us, how are you giving back this month? Tweet us your stories at @ASargentEvents.