Area Service and Community Groups Aid Tenants

In times of disasters and national emergencies, individuals and organizations have always stepped in to fill the gaps in the response. The COVID-19 response has been no different with individuals making masks or going shopping for people who cannot get to the stores safely.

Community organizations serving Mercer County have stepped up to support the tenants of Project  Freedom’s three legacy complexes, Robbinsville, Hamilton,, and Lawrence.

This  support was exemplified by the  Princeton Corridor Rotary Club. This long-time supporter of Project Freedom sponsored $1,500 of groceries for the tenants.  In the past, this socially-minded club supported the acquisition of a generator for Robbinsville.

 Meanwhile, Project Freedom tenants in Robbinsville, Hamilton, and Lawrence were lent a helping hand by the Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) of Greater Mercer County.

JFCS is a nonprofit community service agency with a mission to strengthens individuals and families by empowering people to care for themselves and others.  Family Resources are available including an on-site health food pantry and a wide network of community partnerships.

The JFCS Mobile Food Pantry Truck  began bringing the resources of the JFCS brick-and-mortar pantry to distribution sites in Mercer County since January. The 16-foot truck is a healthy-choice food pantry that for people with food security issues in Mercer County.

The pantry-on-wheels delivered bags of fresh food in Wegmans’ reusable shopping bags to tenants in Robbinsville and Hamilton. In the following weeks, the truck visited the Lawrence complexe as well.

Another community organization, Arm In Arm, also delivered food to Lawrence, Hamilton, and Robbinsville tenants on a regular basis.  Formerly known as The Crisis Ministry, the  organization founded in 1980 by leaders of Nassau Presbyterian Church and Trinity Church in Princeton to help community members who were struggling financially.

Today as Arm In Arm, 20 staff members and hundreds of volunteers welcome more than 4,000 families to its food pantries and other support services.

Holiday Party Thank You from Lawrence

‘Twas the night of December 18th, a highly anticipated night for our tenants at Project Freedom at Lawrence, as our Annual Tenant Holiday Party had arrived. The room was filled with joy and laughter as almost 30 tenants, as well as their guests, entered the green and red winter wonderland. Snowflakes guided their path, holiday music playing the background and a beautifully decorated tree lit the room.

Their happiness was evident and their eyes were beaming as bright as the lights on the Christmas tree when they saw the astounding amount of generous gifts before them covering over nine tables amounting in over 100 donations! Gifts donated by the kind hearts of past and present 3Main Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital employees, Gene Menges and amazing anonymous supporters. Not one person left empty handed. Many leaving carrying a multitude of gifts in their hands and a huge smile on their face!

Each tenant had a personalized gift bag donated by Gene Menges in memory of his beautifully spirited wife Michele Menges who played an instrumental role in the orchestration of this wonderful event for the past four years.

An unforgettable historic night it was! While enjoying a delicious dinner from Mamma Rosa’s, the festivities began. The baskets were overflowing with tickets as the Silent Auction commenced. Everyone was excited with the hope of winning one of the marvelous gifts ranging from clothing, household necessities, home décor, games, gift cards, movies and many more.

However, with all of those generous gifts from Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital we couldn’t possibly pass them out alone! Halfway through the night Saint Nicholas himself came ringing his bells riding in on a firetruck with the lights flashing escorted by his elves from Slackwood Firehouse. Santa Claus came just in time to take pictures with the tenants, pick some winning numbers for the remaining gifts as well as pass them out to the lucky winners. Everyone was smiling ear to ear to see Santa himself. Santa definitely enjoyed his time visiting our tenants stating he could stay here forever! He continuously expressed the amount of joy he felt in his heart to see the smiles on their faces.

This indescribable night would not have been possible without the bountiful donations of past and present 3Main Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital. This event would also not have been possible without the beautiful spirit of Michele Menges. The staff and tenants at Project Freedom would like to thank these Angels for all they do!

Hospital Heroines Make For a Hearty Holiday for Lawrence Tenants

This past December Project Freedom at Lawrence held their annual tenant holiday party. Thirty tenants plus guests enjoyed a night of fun, music, gifts, food and laughter. With the generous help of volunteers from Notre Dame and Somerville High School, Gene and Michele Menges, Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital and many anonymous supporters, the event went off without a hitch!

As the tenants gathered in the entrance, many were sneaking peeks at the tables filled with gifts, anticipating the auction.

After enjoying a delicious dinner from Chiarello’s, and getting halfway through the Chinese Auction, the star of the night showed up! Santa escorted by his elves from the Slackwood Firehouse came in ringing bells. Santa made sure to stop at every table and take pictures with every tenant! The photos show laughing, smiling and pure bliss. All photos were printed out and delivered to each tenant’s front door to keep the memory of such a joyful evening. One tenant, began to cry as she expressed to Santa that his visit warmed her heart and lifted her spirits.

As Santa completed his rounds becoming clearly over heated by his attire, he stated how deeply moved and honored he felt to be a part of this special evening. Santa said he could go on forever visiting with our tenants as his heart was warmed by the smiles on their faces.

Every tenant went home not only with their own personal gift bag (donated by Michele and Gene Menges) but also with gifts won during our auction. This auction had over 90 gifts up for grabs covering eight tables. These gifts ranged from coloring books to China dinnerware.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity and selflessness of Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital! For the third year, the nurses and aides at Deborah have gone to extreme lengths to make a significant difference in the lives of so many.  The hospital staff members not only donated gifts but also their time to help our tenants have an amazing and memorable holiday season. Staff and tenants at Project Freedom would like to thank these angels for all they do.

Lawrence Band Brings Holiday Cheer to Tenants

Tenants from Robbinsville, Hamilton, and Lawrence gathered at Project Freedom at Lawrence to hear holiday and winter season music from the Lawrence Community Band.

30+ band members and 35 attendees made for a packed night of beautiful holiday music and a joyful atmosphere! The band was spectacular and the audience truly enjoyed singing along to all of their holiday favorites.

Labor Day Celebrated by Project Freedom Tenants

Tenants from Hamilton and Lawrence joined Robbinsville tenants for an annual Labor Day picnic put on by the Resurrection Lutheran Church and sponsored by Thrivent Insurance.   This was the 18th year that Trivant and the Hamilton-based Resurrection Lutheran Church have combined to provide Labor Day festivities  to the  tenants of the three legacy complexes.

 

Lawrence Tenant Dashes Home with Gold

Project Freedom at Lawrence tenant Rebecca “Becky” Scheick earned three medals last moth at the Special Olympics.
 
Becky  brought home a Gold and two Silver medals. 
 
Becky crushed it in the Softball Throw earning herself the Gold medal!
 
Her silver medals were for the 4 x 100  Meter Team Relay and the 100 Meter Dash. 
 
Project Freedom is very proud of Becky and all those Project Freedom tenants, consumers, and members who participated in Special Olympics.

Donations to PF at Lawrence Brings a Delicious Thanksgiving to Tenants

Project Freedom at Lawrence was blessed to have received numerous food donations from extremely generous people, stores and restaurants to help the tenants celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

As always, The Knights of Columbus along with St. Anne’s church began the holidays with a huge donation of 28 turkeys that they delivered to the Community Room above the call of duty.

Fusion Employer Services’ employees went all out by further donating an amazing amount of food delivered from ShopRite. Butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, yams, corn and green beans all bagged up and sent to Lawrence tenants.  On top of all of that amazing food,  Fusion employees also had ShopRite donate 25 freshly made pumpkin pies.  Yum!!

In addition, Terhune Orchards enthusiastically donated 15 delicious homemade pies to tenants featuring apple, coconut custard, peach and mincemeat.  It was quite a treat.

Both ShopRite in Hamilton and Ewing were also generous in donating five turkeys each.  This helped a number of families in need to have a proper and delicious Thanksgiving meal.

With all of these amazing, lovely and thoughtful donations, Project Freedom at Lawrence was able to provide complete and delightful Thanksgiving meals for tenants in need helping to make their Thanksgiving a joyful one to remember!!