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Jar of Hope seeks donations of clothing to assist individuals in need

The bake sale will be held from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 17; 1-10 p.m. Dec. 18; and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 19, at AMF Strathmore Lanes, 1061 Route 34, Aberdeen Township.

Jar of Hope, which raises funds to find a cure for a fatal childhood disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is making a donation itself by running a large-scale clothing drive.

Jar of Hope was founded by Manalapan residents Jim and Karen Raffone seven years ago, after their then-4-year-old son James Anthony was diagnosed with Duchenne.

Victims are in wheelchairs by their early teens, and in graves – by asphyxiation – by their early 20s, according to a press release.

“We are grateful for the support we have received from central New Jersey and metro New York in our search for a cure,” Jim Raffone said. “So we feel it’s only right that we give back to the community, and to organizations doing their best to make sure people are adequately fed and clothed, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

The clothing drive is co-sponsored by the Moving Guys (732-333-1800) and the Junk Guys (732-333-1805), and donated items may include clothing, shoes, hats, belts, handbags, coats, jackets, bed linens, bath linens and stuffed animals, according to the press release.

Drop-off points for the clothing drive are:

• Parking lot at Locals Bar (Yorktowne shopping center), 300 Gordons Corner Road, Manalapan, May 15-16, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• CKO Freehold, 610 Park Ave. (Route 33), Freehold, May 15-16, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• RMS Title & Appraisal, 29 Union Ave., Lakehurst, May 15-16, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• CKO Great Kills, 4255 Amboy Road, Staten Island, N.Y., May 15-22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jar of Hope is currently sponsoring a year-long Duchenne study called Operation Lifeline, in which five boys, including the Raffones’ son, are receiving treatment with a new drug combination called Jar914. So far the results have been very encouraging, according to the press release.

The organization’s goal for its clothing drive is just as ambitious.

“Our goal for this clothing drive is nothing less than to donate 100,000 pounds of clothing to the residents of this region by the end of next week,” Raffone said.

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