“The colder and snowier winter has placed a heavier burden on our neighbors in need...”
A letter from President & CEO James M. Jacob
Many of our New Jersey neighbors are thawing out from winter and drowning in
heating bill debt. For most of the harsh winter season New Jerseyians were held
captive by a significant cold weather invasion called the 'polar vortex' - that
massive dome of frigid air - which was responsible for some of the coldest weather
in two decades. The colder and snowier winter has placed a heavier burden on
our neighbors in need.
Energy insecurity is touching the lives of individuals, families, children and seniors
in every community. In New Jersey: it costs $56,865 a year for a family of three
to afford basic food and shelter; one quarter of the employed are earning wages
less than this; and our unemployment rate far exceeds the national average. The
unexpected loss of work due to snow storms and childcare situations on top of the
expense of keeping their home warm and safe can have crippling effects on
household budgets already stretched to the limit. Helping households through a
temporary financial downturn by providing assistance with utility bills can make
the difference between a family sinking into poverty or weathering the storm.
You are that difference to your neighbor in need! Thanks to your prior support,
NJ SHARES offers hope and delivers help to thousands of households in crisis by
providing temporary assistance to those who are struggling to pay their energy
bills thus helping to avoid the tragedies associated with not having these lifesustaining
services. NJ SHARES is a safety-net for households who are not eligible
for other forms of assistance. Because of donations from friends like you, we
provided $71 million in grants, programs and outreach that touched the lives of
more than 177,600 families since 1998.
Together we can help to keep our neighbor's lights on and their homes warm. This
year, we will respond to an increased need from an extremely cold winter. I hope
that you will continue to support NJ SHARES and perhaps consider giving more to
help us address the greater burden our neighbors in need carry.
Your donations are tax-deductible and may be eligible for New Jersey's energy
companies matching program - doubling our ability to help. NJ SHARES operates
through a statewide network of 240 social service organizations. Should you or
anyone you know ever need our assistance you can locate the agency nearest to
you by calling us toll-free at 1-866-NJ SHARES.
James M. Jacob
President & CEO