OceanFirst Bank is looking to make a difference in our communities this holiday season through the “OceanFirst Bank 12 Days of Giving" campaign.

The holidays are a time of giving and what better way than to give back to the organizations that make a difference in our communities day in and day out! Townsquare Media & OceanFirstBank have highlighted 12 different charities during this season of giving, spreading the word of the good that they do, and getting our communities to rally behind them.

OceanFirst Bank will donate $500 to each of the 12 highlighted charities. We had our listeners decide which of those charities will receive an additional $2,000 donation from OceanFirst Bank. It’s our way of saying “thanks” for all that you do! OceanFirst Bank...putting you AND your communities first!

After over 1,700 votes we have the charity you decided to receive an additional $2,000 from OceanFirst Bank!

Congratulations to Beacon Animal Rescue!

This no-kill animal shelter has a mission to save all dogs and cats in need. Read more about them and all of the amazing charities:

Day 12:

Bayville School’s Kindness Club

The Bayville School’s Kindness Club is run by the school’s PTA. Their mission is to spread “kindness” through charitable acts both in school and the community. The club is split into 6 different groups all tasked with various ways to spread joy.

Open a school house
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One group sets out to make schoolmates smile throughout the day, another meets with new students to make them feel more welcomed, there are peer leaders who assist younger students through leadership skills, one of the groups greet students each morning, Safeties spread positivity and safety in the hallways, and the final group is set into action when another student needs a pick-me-up and to help boost their confidence.

Day 11:

Beacon Animal Rescue

Beacon Animal Rescue started in 2003 when a group of volunteers at an animal shelter struggled to find homes for animals that had treatable diseases. They created a no-kill, non-profit shelter in order to protect these pets. They are proud to say that they have a 100% adoption rate.

In 2021 they started they began to operate a low-cost veterinarian clinic to continue their mission. There are many volunteer opportunities from cleaning up after the cats and dogs, to dog walking, grounds maintenance, answering phones, graphic design, and more.

They do have a wishlist of donatable items that they are looking for as well as monetary donations.

PetFinder.com
PetFinder.com
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Day 10:

St. Gregory’s Pantry

The pantry started around 40 years ago at St. Mary’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in Point Pleasant Beach by the secretary. Dorothy started by boxing up food for a family and it grew from there to over 250 volunteers. They serve about 50 families a week, their Friendship Dinners provide 60 to 100 meals monthly, and their holiday distributions provide about 300 families with food and toys.

Due to COVID pickup and deliveries are curbside only. Perishable items can be dropped off Monday-Friday 10 AM-12 PM, non-perishable can be dropped off in the box at any time. Each month they request different foods, personal items, kids' items, gift cards, etc. You can also help by volunteering.

Day 9:

HomeFront

Connie Mercer came up with the idea of HomeFront in 1991 after she saw, first hand, how not much was being done to assist homeless families in her community here in New Jersey. It started with volunteers bringing food to families, child care, and transportation. This grew to more than 100 employees and hundreds of volunteers, "...[providing] everything a family needs to overcome a life of extreme poverty."

According to their site, "On any given night, we provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent service-enriched housing to over 450 people, two-thirds of them children." Last year over 14,000 heads of households went to HomeFront for assistance.

They offer a variety of help from food, to housing, to child care, to education/training, and so much more. You can help HomeFront with its mission to end homelessness by donating food, clothing, diapers, furniture, etc., donating money, volunteering, assisting in their endowment campaign, joining their Women's Initiative, and/or taking part in one of their campaigns/events.
Day 8:

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters, started in 1904 and "...has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is incredible potential." The organization pairs adult volunteers with children ages 5 through young adults. They believe in the power of mentorship to instill lasting effects in their lives.

BBBS got its start in New York City when the future founder Ernest Coulter, then an NYC court clerk, started to see an increase of boys coming into the courtroom. He decided to search for volunteers to mentor these young men. A separate organization began around the same time for young women, with the same mission, called Ladies Charity then became Catholic Big Sisters. In 1977 the two groups joined together to form the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Big Brothers Big Sisters runs a variety of programs:

  • Community-Based
  • School-Based
  • Children of Military Families
  • Children with Incarcerated Parents

You can get involved by donating or becoming a "Big."

Day 7:

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

What started in London in 1844 as a refuge for young men, The YMCA has spread around the globe to enrich local communities.

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is the second-largest in the state serving over 3,600 members and participants. They run a community center, three health and wellness branches, three child care centers, two summer day camps, three counseling and social service centers, before and after school services in 40 schools, and therapeutic counseling in 88 schools in three counties.

Their focus is on the youth, neighborhoods, and health in order to instill social and personal changes.

You can get involved by joining their Social Good Program with donations that provide, "...nourishing meals for neighbors in need, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, mental health support for children and families, addiction recovery services, affordable child care and camp, life-saving swim lessons, and so much more."

You can also join their annual campaign or make a one-time donation.

Day 6:

The Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey

The Ronald McDonald House opened its doors in 1974 in Philadelphia. The mission was to care for the family of sick children. They sought out to provide housing for families near the hospitals where their children were being cared for. The organization expanded to the rest of the world with houses near the top hospitals.

The RMHCNJ has houses in Long Branch and New Brunswick, as well as family rooms and a hospital suite in four hospitals in Monmouth and Middlesex counties.

There are multiple ways in which you can get involved and help the Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey by donating, sponsoring a family dinner, volunteering, becoming an event sponsor, purchasing an item from their Amazon Wish list, and/or attending a virtual fundraiser.

Day 5:

Salvation Army of Ocean County

Salvation Army Kicks-Off Holiday Bell Ringing Season
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Each year the Salvation Army serves approximately 156,000 people a day. The food pantry in Toms River is open on Thursdays at 4:30 due for takeaway meals.
During the holiday season, they run an Adopt-A-Family program to assist impoverished families.

https://www.instagram.com/salvationarmyus/tv/CXAX5pptQZY/?utm_medium=copy_link

What started in London in 1865 has grown to 132 countries helping the homeless, providing disaster relief, and humanitarian aid. The organization was founded by minister William Booth and his wife Catherine Booth to bring “salvation” to the poor.

Day 4:

Youth Consultation Services

According to their website, “Each day YCS provides services to thousands of New Jersey families who have children, birth – adulthood, with special needs.” YCS has been helping New Jersey families for over 100 years, founded in 1918.

The organization was founded in Newark to assist abandoned women and children in 1918 with the help of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. In 1932 their focus changed to counseling young people. In 1942, the first group home was opened as a joint project with the state for young girls who were emotionally handicapped and were wards of the state.
They offer families in-home and community-based services as well as group homes. “YCS Sawtelle Homes provide intensive behavioral interventions for children, ages 5-21, with developmental and intellectual disabilities…”

Day 3:

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey

About 800,000 people are food insecure in New Jersey, The Community Food Bank of New Jersey’s mission is to join our communities together to end hunger.

They distribute 24 million pounds of produce, 85 million meals, and 17,000 volunteer visits each year. What started out of the back of a station wagon in Newark has grown into a statewide organization with over 200 employees and 800 community partners.

Day 2:

Common Ground Grief Center

Common Ground Grief Center in Manasquan, NJ provides support groups for children and teens who have lost a parent, primary caregiver, sibling, or friend. Lynn Snyder, a licensed counselor, started the organization when she saw a lack of services for teens and children dealing with grief.

Their support groups vary with children ages 6-18. They also provide support groups for the surviving parent/primary caregiver.

Day 1:

Toys for Tots

Michelle Obama Helps The Marine Toys For Tots Campaign
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Toys for Tots was started by the wife of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks in 1947. She had a few dolls she wanted to be delivered to children. At that time there was not an organization that collected and delivered toys to children, so they decided to start their own. That year 5,000 toys were collected and distributed in Los Angeles.

Now, almost 75 years later, Toys for Tots distributes about 18 million toys to 7 million children each year. In addition to its holiday distribution, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program has distributed over 2 million books since 2008.