NJ United Way chapter: Need persists after the holidays
When the holiday season dies down, the need for struggling families to survive does not.
Entering one of the biggest times of concern for organizations that exist to help people in need, the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties is hoping Garden State residents are still in the giving mood.
"We do see a lull in donations from now until the spring," said UWMOC President/CEO Lori McLane.
While New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, more than a third of the state's households are what United Way refers to as ALICE, or asset limited, income constrained, employed. They earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a "bare bones" household budget.
"Thirty-nine percent of households in Monmouth and Ocean counties are struggling to afford those basic needs," McLane said. "Which is astonishing. I don't think people realize that."
The United Way chapter funds programs in four key areas: early grade reading, school readiness, youth career pathways, and financial stability.
As one of its projects, the chapter partners with other organizations and provides free resources to help residents "move from financial difficulty to economic well-being" at 10 Financial Success Center sites in the region. Select sites will offer free tax preparation for eligible residents starting Jan. 31.
"Our giving needs to be all year round, and that's why we try to be very donor-centric and make people aware of what we're doing," McLane said.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.