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The HOPE Center in Toms River celebrates a Season of Giving

The HOPE Center in Toms River celebrates a Season of Giving

The local nonprofit encourages the community to give back to those in need.

Toms River, NJ – It is the Season of Giving. For many of us, that means draping our homes in sparkling lights, adorning our front doors with wreaths, placing a beautiful tree in the center of the living room and filling it with the most thoughtful gifts underneath. However, there many families in our community that may not have the same experience. Therefore, The HOPE Center in Toms River is calling on everyone to embrace a spirit of giving, not just during the holidays but throughout the year.

Looking back at the last two years, the community has gone through a pandemic crisis that most of the world has not seen before. Throughout this challenging time, The HOPE Center has remained open and ready to serve. “Big things start with you… one small act that can change a person’s life in one small way,” said Amy VanBezooijen of The HOPE Center. “We don’t know when this pandemic crisis will end, but we can continue to help those in need within our community.”

Throughout the pandemic, the local nonprofit has:

  • Distributed more than 400,509 lbs. of food to over 21,847 people who have sought support from its food pantry;
  • Provided 1,057 nights of safe, warm shelter through rental assistance and emergency shelter assistance;
  • Facilitated utility and transportation assistance to over 70 families;
  • Answered over 2,261 phone calls to assist with guidance and referrals.

“Most of our budget is dependent on fundraising events and donations,” said VanBezooijen. “As a result of this crisis, we are still unable to hold several of our major fundraisers. In the past year, the support expressed by our individual donors and partnering organizations demonstrates just how big our hearts can be. We thank you.”

To continue to support its neighbors in need, The HOPE Center asks that you consider “one small act” by making a special contribution The HOPE Center by visiting HouseOfHopeOcean.org. For volunteer opportunities, please call 732-341-4447.

Mike, a volunteer at The HOPE Center, says he gives “because God has blessed me with the ability to give, and unfortunately, there is always someone who will have a need and there is always the potential that person could be me.”

The HOPE Center is located at 253 Chestnut Street in Toms River. To learn more or for volunteer opportunities, visit houseofhopeocean.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.