Just Two Hours Can Make a Difference

A new lipstick, a fresh journal and a lovely scented lotion – these may be items that you treat yourself to regularly, but for women in economic need, these are luxuries that may be out of reach.  Volunteers at our most recent Mitzvah-in-a-Minute event decided to change that story. With the help of some generous donations, NCJW/Essex volunteers created dozens of “Take Time for You” gift bags filled with cosmetics, hair care products and other little luxuries that were presented to NCJW/Essex Center for Women clients throughout the month of May.

The gift bags are just one example of the way NCJW/Essex touches the lives of local women, children and families in economic need. The Mitzvah-in-a-Minute program is a series of community service projects planned throughout the year that can all be done in under two hours. 

One of our newer projects is creating “Period Ready Kits” in partnership with the NCJW/Essex Period.Project.  Volunteers fill cosmetic bags with sanitary pads, travel deodorant and lip balm. The bags are given to school nurses for distribution to middle school girls in need.

A favorite morning for many volunteers is chopping and slicing vegetables for freezer-ready meals as part of Mitzvah-in-a-Minute “Fill-the-Freezer.” Center for Women clients are so grateful to receive trays of homemade lasagna, burritos, soups and other hearty dishes that they can serve to their families.

Involving your children in community service is easy with Family Mitzvah-in-a-Minute events.  At these fun, child-centered events, children hear from local agencies about why their time and service are important and how the packages they are assembling help the community.

If you have two hours, you can make a difference! To learn more about volunteering, organizing or hosting a Mitzvah-in-a-Minute, please contact Dina Stambler, Director of Volunteer Outreach and Membership at dstambler@ncjwessex.org.

Beating Back Food Insecurity

If the dinnertime discussion in your household is what you should have for dinner or where you should order it from, it might be hard to imagine that in New Jersey, 1 in 10 persons and 1 in 7 children live in households where there is no regular access to enough food to live healthy and active lives. Often people are forced to choose between paying rent and buying food, leaving little or no money to buy nutritious food to feed their families.

To combat what has become known as “food insecurity,” NCJW/Essex is trying to do its part to help. Career Services Manager Patty Kremen started an informal “food bank” known as Patty’s Pantry where she discreetly offers clients at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women food and gift cards to help them feed their families for several weeks at a time. Any food that is collected that Patty’s Pantry cannot use due to space restrictions is donated to Christine’s Kitchen, a food pantry in West Orange.

A dedicated team of amazing volunteers has been active as well! In March a kick-off Pack the Pantry committee meeting was well-attended. Participants were asked to be responsible for a two-week collection period during which they would solicit direct food donations as well as supermarket gift cards in $5 and $10 denominations. Many of the women chose to honor their birthday weeks to do the collection. During the meeting we brainstormed and came up with some terrific ideas as to how to get the word out about the needs of our Center for Women clients. This year we hope to hold a “mitzvah” event as well as to develop a process where we can solicit stores (other than supermarkets) that sell food.

The Pack the Pantry committee needs your help! In addition to direct donations that can be brought to the office during regular meetings or NCJW/Essex office hours, we are looking for ambassadors to help us at outside NCJW/Essex sponsored events. If you would like to learn more about how you can help or if you would like to join our committee, please email Dina Stambler, Director of Membership and Volunteer Outreach. We greatly appreciate your support—no matter how big or small.

Easing Back Into Your Job Search in the New Year

In late November and December, job seekers may find themselves focused on holiday shopping, parties, travel, and entertaining rather than finding a new job. Likewise, late in the year employers may be focused on year end results, budget planning, and performance reviews, putting recruitment and open positions on the back burner. Once January rolls around, it is a great time to ease back into taking productive steps to achieve your professional goals.

If you are considering a job change, use your New Year’s resolutions to clarify your vision and values for the year, and incorporate those into your job search. Taking the time to revisit your personal vision and values and determine what brings you joy, what you’re great at, what pays your bills, and what contributes to your personal identity will allow you to determine where to focus your job search and land a position where you can thrive. Do you desire a career change or advancement in your current career? Are you dreaming of a move to another location, a simpler lifestyle, or furthering your education? How do these hopes and dreams translate into the type of position you are seeking?

Once you’ve achieved a focus that feels right, the following strategies are time-tested and effective:

  • Share that you are actively searching for a job with friends and family in order to get the word out.
  • Keep an open mind and conduct informational interviews to gather as much information as possible and leave yourself open to new possibilities.
  • Use online resources such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and others; set up job alerts through these sites.
  • Brush up on your interview skills and polish up your resume.
  • Focus on building up your self-confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills.

A new year, a new you, and your energy and enthusiasm will go a long way in making your professional dreams a reality!

We Are Here to Help

The dedicated group of professional staff members and trained volunteers at the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women assists women who wish to return to the workforce with resume writing, job coaching, interview skills training, LinkedIn and computer classes. Our services are confidential and our programs are non-sectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion. Contact us. We can help.

Visit our website: www.centerforwomenNJ.org
Call: (973) 994-4994
Email: centerforwomen@ncjwessex.org

 

E2E Helps Women Overcome Obstacles

Recently a new client arrived for an appointment at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women. She was college educated with a degree in nursing. She was also recently divorced, financially strapped and trying to make ends meet by working at a hardware store for $11 an hour. She had come seeking career counseling and support.

“Why aren’t you working as a nurse?” inquired Kathy Murphy, a Case Manager at the Center for Women. The woman explained that she could not afford to pay to have her nursing license renewed, a necessary requirement to be able to practice nursing in New Jersey. The client looked up in amazement when Kathy responded, “Guess what? We can pay for your license renewal and the fees associated with it.”

Helping women get past obstacles, such as licensing fees and/or taking a certification class, is the goal of E2E, one of the many programs offered by the Center for Women. E2E, short for Education 2 Empowerment, is funded through a generous grant from the NJ Department of Children and Families, Division on Women. The goal of E2E is to help women who have gone through divorce, separation or widowhood to improve their chances of re-entering the workforce with the assistance of additional education. Center for Women clients have taken certification courses in a variety of areas including Project Management, Certified Health Aide, Quickbooks, and Personal Training/Yoga. The ultimate goal of E2E is to help women become self-sufficient and able to provide for their families.

Our new client left the office feeling hopeful and relieved. She also left with a gas card, Shoprite gift card and food from Patty’s Pantry. The Center for Women set her on the right path to enable her to return to the workforce in her skilled profession. If you are looking to obtain new skills to enter or re-enter the workforce, the NCJW/Essex Center for Women is here to help. E2E is just one of many programs offered to help women on the road to self-empowerment.

 

Interested in learning more? Visit www.centerforwomennj.org or call (973) 994-4994 for more information.

The Center for Women Receives Block Grant from Essex County

The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Receives Block Grant from Essex County

LIVINGSTON, NJ, March 22, 2018 – The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women received a $9,678 block grant from the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment, Division of Housing and Community Development.  The grant will go towards expanding the programs offered by the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which have helped thousands of women with computer skills, job searches and personal guidance.

Pictured (l to r) are George Serio, Director at Essex County Division of Housing and Development, Armando B. Fontoura, Essex County Sheriff, Beverly Trust and Barbara Hauser, both of Livingston, NJ, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive, and Isabel Margolin of Montville. Trust, Hauser and Margolin are volunteer co-chairs of the NCJW/Essex Career Closet, which assists economically disadvantaged women in obtaining career attire appropriate for the workplace.  Sue Wasserman, Director of Community Services for NCJW/Essex commented, “We are very excited about the opportunities that this grant will give to the Center for Women and the various programs that fall under its umbrella.”

For more information about the Center for Women please visit www.centerforwomenNJ.org, or call (973) 994-4994. Programs are nonsectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion.

 

Local Dentist Offers Services and New Beginnings NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Local Dentist Offers Services and New Beginnings for
Clients of the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

 

Greg Scheier, DDS, of Scheier Dental Group in Millburn, NJ, knows that a smile goes a long way. He and his associate, Samantha Shapiro, DMD, have generously donated their services to help clients from the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women gain their confidence by obtaining dental work that they would otherwise be unable to afford.

“I wholeheartedly believe in kindness and giving back to the community and what better way to show that than by getting involved with NCJW/Essex,” said Dr. Scheier. Last spring he was introduced to Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which helps women in transition who may be looking for a new job, starting a business or recovering from a loss. “I learned about the life-changing work that is happening at the Center for Women and it is very much aligned with causes I believe in,” explained Dr. Scheier. “These are women who, for one reason or another, have come upon difficult times and I am thrilled to be able to help them make such a major, positive difference in their lives.”

Dr. Scheier and Dr. Shapiro have provided a variety of dental work for clients including routine dental exams, cleanings, x-rays, root canals, fillings and veneers, valued at over $20,000. “It’s a good feeling to know that what we can offer can make such a difference in someone’s life,” reflects Dr. Scheier. “Everyone on our staff feels good about making such a positive impact on the lives of these women.” As Dr. Scheier looks ahead, he anticipates expanding his pro bono work to continue to help clients of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women.

“Our clients cannot always afford costly but necessary dental work and will often put other expenses first, such as electric bills and food for their families,” explains Ms. Kremen. “Our clients who have benefitted from Dr. Scheier’s generosity have brighter smiles and greater confidence, which impacts their ability to obtain jobs. We know when we send our clients to the Scheier Dental Group they will be treated with the utmost respect and their dental care will be of the highest quality. It is an extraordinary partnership.”

The NCJW/Essex Center for Women offers many types of support programs for women in transition including career services, a Career Closet, computer training and self-empowerment programs. The experienced and knowledgeable staff helps create a personalized program that fits each woman’s individual needs, providing a safe place to go for help and support as their lives continue to change and improve.

For more information about the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, all (973) 994-4994 or visit our website, www.centerforwomennj.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: Samantha Shapiro, DMD (left) and Greg Scheier, DDS, of Scheier Dental Group in Millburn, NJ, got involved with NCJW/Essex because they believe in giving back to the community.

The Path to Success Can Be Bumpy

 

careertransitionslider

Recently one of my clients was offered a new position, earning double the salary of her previous job. As she shared the exciting news with me, I asked her a few questions and, to be frank, her answers surprised me. She is a single mom of three young children and her new job required her to work a late shift (11 pm – 7 am) and weekends. I couldn’t see how this was going to work out. We discussed the pros and cons of the job and she decided it was worth pursuing because of the salary increase.

Less than two weeks later it became apparent that the shifts were too much for her and her family to manage. Feeling stuck and uncertain, she left the position. In panic mode, she returned to the NCJW/Essex Center for Women where we were able to help get her back on track, provide career coaching, self-empowerment workshops, job clubs, networking and support.

Finding the right job to fit your life and its demands is no simple task. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find a work environment that is a good match, but along the way it can feel hopeless and demoralizing. The Center for Women serves as so much more than a “job placement” center. Women who seek our help not only learn new skills to help them find jobs but learn how to take control of their own lives and gain the confidence to be successful.

At the Center for Women, we help you every step of the way. Our clients know that we are there for them, they can come back to us and we give them hope. My client now has faith that the next job she finds will be the right job because she has a better understanding of what she needs and wants and how to go about finding it. The path to finding a job may be bumpy, but with skills and guidance it can lead to success.

We Are Here to Help

The dedicated group of professional staff members and trained volunteers at the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women assists women who wish to return to the workforce with resume writing, job coaching, interview skills training, LinkedIn and computer classes. Our services are confidential and our programs are non-sectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion. Contact us. We can help.

Visit our website: www.centerforwomenNJ.org

Call: (973) 994-4994

Email: centerforwomen@ncjwessex.org

 

“$100 for 100” Event Benefits Families from the Center for Women

“$100 for 100” Event Benefits Families from the
Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Nineteen children from 9 different families identified by the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women attended a very special shopping event on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Union, NJ. Sponsored by Joyal Capital Management Foundation, Inc., the “$100 for 100” event helps young people in need during the holidays and gives them the opportunity to shop with a generous gift of a $100 gift card. Children enjoyed hot chocolate and donuts while shopping for sporting equipment, clothing, ice skates, boots, and hundreds of other items throughout the store.

Sixteen-year-old Bruce Armistead of Linden, NJ, picked out a snowboard and some other winter items. “I’d like to thank the Joyal Foundation for its generosity,” he said. “The spreading of love and positivity that you have shown through giving has inspired me to be more generous in my day to day life.” Another mother who brought her two children to the event said, “My kids were ecstatic to learn that they could spend $100 on items of their choosing at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I am all about making good memories and I know that this is something they will never forget.”

The “$100 for 100” began at a single store in 2008 and has grown to be an interactive community giving event which has expanded to 12 states and benefits more than 12,000 children each year. At each event, the Joyal Foundation provides gift cards to 100 children in need who have been nominated by members of the community or community agencies.

NCJW/Essex was included as a partner organization thanks to Matthew Stadtmauer of Summit, New Jersey, the state’s Lead Volunteer for “$100 for 100.”  Stadtmauer’s mother, Trudy Elwood, was an active member of NCJW/Essex and impressed upon him the importance of the organization’s advocacy work for women, children and families. “It was a natural fit,” says Stadtmauer, who adds that with each child who comes in to shop, his hopes for the program are realized.

The NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which offers career services, computer classes, workshops for women and support programs, was honored to partner with the Joyal Foundation for the third year in a row. “The generosity of the Joyal Foundation is truly inspiring,” comments Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the Center for Women. “It is wonderful to see how much joy it brings to children and families. Parents are able to grant wishes to their children and children feel exhilarated and empowered to be able to choose the items they really want.”

PHOTO CAPTION 1: Pictured (l to r) are Davanna Armistead of Linden, NJ, Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, and 16-year-old Bruce Armistead who attended “$100 for 100” at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Union, NJ.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Pictured (l to r) are Chiquita Byrd of Newark, with Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, along with shoppers Aniyah, age 14, and Shuntez, age 8.

Are You Ready To Go Back To Work?

Job readyThe Job Market is Hot!

Have you been thinking about entering or returning to the workforce? If the answer is yes, then now is one of the best times to find your next job. Some of our clients at the Center for Women have been out of the work force for over 10 years and have recently found success in this candidate-driven job market.

Are You Job-Ready?

Many women make the assumption that returning to work means doing the same thing that they did before. Some repositioning is inevitable if you’ve been out of the workforce for a year or more, but it is also a perfect time to reposition yourself for something new.

The first step to job-readiness is to figure out which of your skills are transferable and which ones you need to develop. Then, take some practical steps to be ready when a job opportunity comes along:

  • Break out your old resume to review some of the key responsibilities you have held and see how those skills have held up in the current marketplace
  • Add your volunteer experience to your resume
  • Spread the word that you want to enter or reenter the workforce — networking will help you find the hidden job openings
  • Practice interviewing so you are prepared. Rehearse the questions you know you will get – i.e. “I see you haven’t worked in a while” or “Why is this the best time for you to be looking for a job?” Determine your strengths and weaknesses so employers see you as job-ready.
  • Be ready to act – Do you have the right interview clothes? Do you have a plan for someone to watch your children, or pick up your kids at school?

We Are Here to Help

The dedicated group of professional staff members and trained volunteers at the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women assists women who wish to return to the workforce with resume writing, job coaching, interview skills training, LinkedIn and computer classes. Our services are confidential and our programs are non-sectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion. Contact us. We can help.

Visit our website: www.centerforwomenNJ.org
Call: (973) 994-4994
Email: centerforwomen@ncjwessex.org