In this newsletter: x The Brown Bag Bash x Teens Tackle Homelessness Conference x Project Connect in Newark – New Services Added x Donate Your Old Car this Earth Day x All Welcome at Bridges’ Annual Meeting – June 7 x Call for Summer Run Groups and Soupmakers x Nominations for the Founders’ Award Bridges Brown Bag Bash! Bridges’ Brown Bag Bash was held on Saturday, March 25 at the Maritime Parc in Liberty State Park, Jersey City. This every-other-year event raises critical funds for Bridges. The Bash was a wonderful, festive event that featured a beautiful setting, a lively band, and a great time with old and new friends. We are very grateful for the generosity of our sponsors, Bash attendees and donors, all of whom made it a memorable evening. A few photos of the evening are below; more can be found on Bridges’ website, www.bridgesoutreach.org. 8th Annual Teens Tackle Homelessness Conference The theme of this year’s teen conference was “Changing Perspectives on Homelessness”. Several homeless teens from The Emergency Residency Program at the Newark YMCA spoke about their experiences. Next, attendees engaged in four interactive workshops designed by the teen committee to illustrate the many challenges faced by people living in poverty. The closing speaker was Jesse, a young man who was previously homeless but is now living at Covenant House and attending college. He performed a beautiful and moving piece on his cello. Special thanks to Kent Place School for once again hosting this informative afternoon. Additional Services at Project Connect At Project Connect in Newark our case managers have expanded the services they provide, to help people who are homeless in even more ways. Project Connect now provides all of these services: x Birth Certificate and NJ State ID services x Medicaid Enrollment x SNAP Enrollment x Job Readiness Training x Training for Specific Jobs x Furniture Assistance x Links to: Mental Health Assessment & Treatment Substance Abuse Treatment Legal Aid Social Services Employment Housing and Landlords Veterans’ Services We are always working to add additional services, to provide greater assistance to our homeless clients. Donate Your Old Car to Benefit the Earth and Bridges This Earth Day (or any time) Your donation of your old vehicle will help fund our programs so that Bridges can help more of our neighbors in need, and you’ll receive a tax deduction. Click here for more information. You’re Invited to Bridges’ Annual Meeting – June 7 Bridges’ annual meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 7. All are welcome to attend to review the year, honor some special people, and hear about future plans. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, 1000 Summit Avenue, Summit. Please join us. Help Needed with Summer Runs and Soupmaking! If you’re considering going on a Run in the near future, take a look at Bridges’ June, July and August calendar. Many of our Runs are filled by school and religious groups that don’t meet during the summer months; the need continues, however. Please think about engaging your exercise group, book club, neighborhood or other group to sign up for one of these empty slots. You may also sign up as an individual; contact Patrick Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Bridges is also always looking for soupmakers. Soupmaking requires an hour of your time in advance of each Run. Bridges provides all ingredients (canned soup and frozen vegetables), but volunteers mix the soup and heat it up on Bridges’ stove. We serve soup on every Run, regardless of the weather, and the people we meet look forward to a cup of hot soup. Soupmaking is an easy and meaningful way to help the people we meet on our Runs. Contact Patrick Davis, Bridges’ Director of Operations, for more information. Founders’ Award Nominations Due May 5 The Founder’s Award is granted each spring to one or more high school juniors or seniors who have faithfully supported the work of Bridges and who have proven to be a friend to the homeless. These individuals will exhibit traits that, in the opinion of Bridges’ Board of Trustees, will enable them to continue to thoughtfully and compassionately impact the world in significant and meaningful ways. The student will have demonstrated leadership and initiative in serving homeless people. The award is given in honor of Ginger and Geoff Worden, Bridges’ co-founders, Ellen Maher, the first Executive Director, the first Board of Trustees, and early volunteers. Nominations must be received by May 5. Winners will be notified by May 12. The award will be presented at Bridges’ Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 7. Award recipients will also receive public recognition in local and school publications. Click here for more information. Please “Like” us on Facebook! If you haven’t done so already, please “Like” Bridges on Facebook. Find us here!