When a family’s housing circumstances seems most hopeless and all seems to be lost, many of them turn to HomeFront.
The nonprofit group offers them some hope through its many programs – from providing rental assistance to distributing food through its food pantry.
Now, community members can see for themselves exactly what HomeFront does and how they can help during HomeFront’s annual Week of Hope, set for Feb. 13-18.
The sixth annual Week of Hope is billed as a week of community service opportunities – from helping HomeFront staff deliver meals to homeless families living in area motels, to sorting clothes and stocking shelves at HomeFront’s Free Store.
“We are excited to welcome current and future members of the HomeFront family to learn about our work during our annual Week of Hope,” said Sarah Steward, HomeFront’s chief executive officer.
HomeFront, which is based in Lawrence Township, was founded in 1991. It has always depended on volunteers. Last year, HomeFront relied on more than 3,600 volunteers to support its more than 36 programs and services, Steward said.
Those who want to dip their toes into volunteering can sign up for “How You Can Help: HomeFront Volunteer Orientation.” The Week of Hope offers a chance for community members to help out at least once – whether it is baking nut-free treats at home to be dropped off “to brighten the day for children” living in the motels through the “Bake Some Love” event or wrapping diapers for HomeFront families through HomeFront’s Diaper Resource Center.
Participants can spend a few hours at the FreeStore in Trenton, sorting incoming donations and organizing the store. HomeFront clients go to the FreeStore to shop for clothing, professional attire, household items, toys and more at no cost to them.
At HomeFront’s Choice Food Pantry, participants can help stock shelves, sort donated items and check for expiration dates on food products.
There are several opportunities to learn more about HomeFront and its mission – at a “Lunch and Learn” session with Steward, HomeFront’s CEO, and the “Share the Love” art event at the Treasure Trove in Hopewell Borough.
At the “See What We Do: A Tour of Our Main Office and Food Pantry” event, participants can learn about the food pantry, the hygiene pantry and the Diaper Resource Center. They may learn about upcoming drives and how they may get involved.
All of the activities are hands-on and in-person, with the exception of a Zoom presentation by Celia Bernstein on the state of affordable housing. She will also talk about what the community can do to advocate for additional affordable housing. Bernstein is the CEO of HomeFront partner Homes by TLC.
“Joining our Week of Hope is a way for community members to step out of their everyday lives and feel the positivity that comes from helping a local family,” said Meghan Cubano, HomeFront’s director of development and community engagement.
For more information and to sign up for the activities, visit www.homefrontnj.org or call 609-989-9417 ext. 107.