NJEA volunteers help homeless in Camden

Published on Wednesday, September 25, 2013


 Home for the Brave
NJEA staff members Verlencia Waring and Roxie Muhsin color with a youngster at the Anna Sample Complex.  Gallery Gallery

Active, retired and student members of NJEA and association staff spent Sept. 18 in Camden working with homeless military veterans on GED test preparation and Adult Education tutoring programs at the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Home for the Brave/Aletha R. Wright Center. They also conducted a Mommy & Me program, and provided homework help at the Anna Sample Complex. In addition, they helped prepare meals for residents and clients.

It was all part of NJEA Volunteer Day held to commemorate the new public-private partnership between Volunteers of America Delaware Valley and NJEA. Funding for the project was made available when staff in NJEA Communications negotiated an advertising contract with CBS EcoMedia that included an unusual perk: a portion of NJEA’s advertising contract would be put into a grant that would be awarded on NJEA’s behalf.

The grant was created by CBS EcoMedia’s “EdcuationAd” program. It funds educational materials to help military veterans gain their GED certificates, learn job skills and money management, and engage in life skills training. NJEA’s funding also pays for classroom supplies, linens, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

 Home for the Brave
Philadelphia Eagles Radio Announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick signs an autograph for a client of the Home for the Brave.

“Some folks have asked me why NJEA would get involved with homeless shelters in Camden,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. “I tell them when you help the city, you help the schools. If our students, their families, and their neighbors are in need, we all need to step up and help make the situation better.”

The Volunteers of America’s Home for the Brave is a 30-bed shelter for homeless veterans that opened earlier this year, and is already at full capacity with a waiting list.

The Anna Sample Complex homeless shelter was dedicated by Volunteers of America in 1988 in honor of Anna M. Sample, a woman who devoted her life to fighting poverty in the City of Camden. This 65-bed transitional housing program serves homeless families. This program focuses on assisting the women to become self-sufficient members of the community.

Two shifts of NJEA volunteers worked from 9:30 a.m. 5 p.m. Included among the volunteers was Philadelphia Eagles Radio announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick. Quick, of WIP-94 Sports Radio was on hand at the Home for the Brave to encourage the residents and show his support.

“No veteran of military service in the United States of America should ever lack for a roof over their heads, a hot meal to eat or a bed to sleep in each night,” said Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBS EcoMedia Inc. “But unfortunately, far too many of them do. We salute NJEA’s generous volunteer service today and couldn’t be more pleased to bring these two great organizations together.”

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