The HOPE Center hosts Operation BBQ Relief in Toms River
The local nonprofit recently served hot meals and distributed gifts of warmth to neighbors in need.Toms River, NJ – Neighbors helping neighbors. That mission was more than evident as The HOPE Center in Toms River served up delicious hot foods to neighbors in need at Operation BBQ Relief earlier this month. This event was held in partnership with DRJ Catering and Airlink Disaster Response Delivered. Approximately 600 free meals were donated and served during this event. In addition to these meals, The HOPE Center also gave out 33 packages of diapers, along with bibs, baby blankets, hand knitted baby sweaters, hats and booties, 100 warm blankets, 164 “new to you” coats, 122 new hats, 63 scarves, 170 gloves/mittens and 23 hat/scarf/glove sets through the nonprofit’s Gifts of Warmth initiative.
“The HOPE Center would like to thank Operation BBQ Relief, as well as David Keith and his team at DRJ Catering and all the incredible partnering organizations and amazing volunteers who came out to help make this event possible,” said Amy VanBezooijen of The HOPE Center. “It has not been an easy time for many members of our community and knowing others care makes the burden a little easier to bear.”
This was the sixth time that Operation BBQ Relief has helped the Toms River community. “Operation BBQ Relief served meals to those in need during Superstorm Sandy, as well as on three other occasions from 2018 to 2020,” said VanBezooijen.
The HOPE Center opened its doors in February 2008 to provide services to those individuals in need of assistance. Today, the HOPE Center’s staff and over 110 volunteers provide resources, advocacy and coordinating services with partner agencies. Volunteers assist clients in navigating the social service programs within the county to help resolve their issues of housing, utilities and other urgent needs.
The HOPE Center’s mission is to serve clients with dignity and compassion and strives to empower each person to achieve his or her greatest level of self-sufficiency. The organization provides food through its full-service, client-choice food pantry and community garden, shelter assistance, utility assistance and transportation to those in need. Special events and various drives are held throughout the year.
The HOPE Center is located at 253 Chestnut Street in Toms River. To learn more or for volunteer opportunities, visit houseofhopeocean.org.
About Operation BBQ Relief
Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides hot meals to communities impacted by disasters and the first responders that are on the ground helping. The organization was founded after the Joblin, Missouri EF5 tornado in May 2011. To date, Operation BBQ Relief has served in over 30 different states and has provided over 9M meals. To learn more, visit operationbbqrelief.org.
About The HOPE Center
The HOPE Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization initiated by the Clergy Association of Greater Toms River. Within a place of hope and faith, the mission of The HOPE Center is to serve families in crisis with dignity and compassion, providing for their basic human needs, and striving to empower each person to achieve his or her greatest level of self-sufficiency. Current hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 3pm. To reach The HOPE Center, call 732-341-4447. After 4pm, for emergency services, please call 211.
The HOPE Center hosts Gifts of Warmth/Operation BBQ Relief.