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Vincent Maione, Atlantic City Electric Region President & Joyce Campbell, NJ SHARES Board Chair and Associate Executive Director for External Affairs of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton
Atlantic City Electric Named Recipient of NJ SHARES “Neighborhood Hero” Award -
Vincent Maione, Region President of Atlantic City Electric, Accepts
Award on Company’s Behalf
Recently, Atlantic City Electric was named a recipient of the “Neighborhood Hero” Award by NJ SHARES. Vincent Maione, Atlantic City Electric region president, accepted the award on the company’s behalf at a special presentation held at Atlantic City Electric’s offices in Mays Landing, NJ.
In celebration of its 15th anniversary year, NJ SHARES has selected a number of companies that have supported its mission since their inception and honored them with these “Neighborhood Hero” awards.
“Atlantic City Electric is a proud founding corporate partner of NJ SHARES,” said Maione. “Our partnership with NJ SHARES made it possible to assist 5,000 qualifying Atlantic City Electric customers with more than $2 million in electric assistance grants.”
“As we celebrate our 15th Anniversary, NJ SHARES would like to honor Atlantic City Electric and thank Vince for his continued support of our mission to help our neighbors in need,” said Joyce Campbell, NJ SHARES Board Chair and Associate Executive Director for External Affairs of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton. “Through our partnership with Atlantic City Electric, we are able to continue to respond to the financial needs of those still affected by this past winter’s cold and harsh weather, and also those qualifying households desiring to stay safe and cool during these warmer summer months.”
For more information on NJ SHARES and how you can help families in need, please visit: https://secure.njshares.org/howYouCanHelp/donationsNew.asp
From Left:Rhonda Harper, Petra Decaille-Poleon, Jim Jacob
2014 National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC)
The 2014 National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC) ran from June 18-20, 2014 in Kansas City, MO and included workshops and general sessions designed to help folks become more effective in their work/initiatives and strengthen the energy safety net.
Our President and CEO, Jim Jacob, had been asked to present during three workshop sessions, as well as be a featured speaker during the luncheon on the opening day of the conference. Jim explained the importance of the conference and his willingness to participate in his monthly President's Message, featured in the latest edition of our e-newsletter, Sharing Neighborhoods:
"When this conference started more than 25 years ago, it was aimed at building bridges and enhancing communication between the attending organizations. That concept rings true today, as conference attendees and presenters will represent a wide range of organizations such as members of the federal government including the Department of Health and Human Services, non-profit organizations, fuel funds and utilities. Every conference results in increased collaboration, new approaches and projects, and improved practices across the nation..."
One of Jim’s sessions was Good Communication with Non-Traditional Partners – pictured is Ms. Petra Decaille-Poleon of The Salvation Army (standing) Moderator, Ms. Rhonda Harper, Citizens Energy Group (seated on left) Presenter, and Jim Jacob, President & CEO NJ SHARES (seated on right) Presenter. This session discussed how working together works! The attendees got a chance to see how several organizations maximize the benefits of the strong relationships they have built with non-traditional partners, adding value and meeting the needs of mutual clients and/or customers.
To read Jim's full message about the conference, visit our website: http://www.njshares.org/aboutNJShares/newsletter.asp
For more information on the conference, visit: http://www.energyandutilityconference.org/.
Jim Jacob, NJS's President and CEO
I recently attended the 2014 National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC). I am pleased to report that the conference, designed to help strengthen the nation’s energy safety net, was well attended with more than 600 participants.
It was extremely beneficial to meet with my colleagues from across the country to network and share ideas. I gained invaluable insight into innovative new approaches to serve our low and moderate income energy consumers that will help New Jersey residents now and in the future. In addition, I was honored to give three presentations during the course of the conference focusing on the following topics:
- Good Communication With Non-Traditional Partners
- Generating Revenue for Energy Assistance through Proactive Advocacy Efforts
- Fueling for the Future – How to Form and Grow Statewide Fuel Funds
One issue that is always a concern at this time of year is extreme summer heat. People need to be cognizant of the dangers of summer’s high temperatures. Hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature caused by exposure to extreme heat, is an extremely dangerous condition. If an individual is struggling to pay their electric bills in the summer, they should reach out to NJ SHARES for assistance.
Another important issue to be aware of in the summer is water conservation. Preserving our natural resources will help to make them more affordable for everyone. According to our partner, United Water New Jersey, we could reduce our water usage by 30 percent, or 98 to 273 million gallons per day, just by using simple conservation methods. Water conservation methods include things like taking shorter showers, addressing leaks inside and outside of the house, and making sure the dishwasher and washing machine are full before running them. Tips from the EPA on using water efficiently are available by clicking here.
I would also like to commend Atlantic City Electric, one of our founding corporate partners, on being named the most recent recipient of the NJ SHARES “Neighborhood Hero” Award. Over the years, our partnership with Atlantic City Electric has helped thousands of our neighbors to keep warm in the winter, cool in the summer and reduce their energy burden. We continue to thank them for their ongoing support.
As always, I would like to thank our 300 plus partners throughout the state. It is because of their generous support that we have been able to provide our neighbors throughout New Jersey with the energy assistance they need.
LIHEAP CLOSES JUNE 30, 2014
The deadline to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was extended this year to June 30, 2014. This federally-funded program assists eligible families and individuals with their energy bills. The New Jersey plan provides help with heating, emergency crisis and medically necessary cooling costs.
The Universal Service Program (USF) can assist households with their energy affordability needs extending past the June 30 LIHEAP deadline. USF helps lower gas and electricity costs for eligible households and was designed so that eligible New Jersey residents do not have to pay more than 6 percent of their annual income for their gas and electric utility service. Applicants whose incomes do not exceed 175% of the federal poverty level may apply for USF year-round.
NJ SHARES serves as a safety net for those who do not qualify for USF or other energy assistance programs. We are here to assist those who are unable to meet their energy burden due to circumstances beyond their control - such as unemployment, illness, medical expenses or other financial hardship. Helping to pay the energy and utility bills of households in need, NJ SHARES offers grants which are funded through the support of donors and its statewide network of more than 270 community-based social service agencies.
Malfrieda Boardley, Secretary/Family Support Worker
The Family Service Association (FSA)
NJ SHARES is fortunate to partner with more than 240 agencies around the state. Each organization has a different mission and focus but all provide holistic solutions to their community. This month we highlight the Family Service Association.
The Family Service Association (FSA) is a non-profit, multi-service agency offering services to children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens in Atlantic County since 1909. The goal of Family Service Association is to strengthen individuals and families so that they can meet the challenges of modern life in positive and constructive ways.
FSA offers counseling services designed to alleviate pain and foster growth in people who are experiencing a wide variety of personal and relationship problems. Some of these concerns include marital difficulties, parent-child conflicts, emotional stress, and grief over the loss of a family member, and life adjustment during times of transition. The agency also offers programs that have been developed to meet the needs of specific client groups. The professional staff is fully qualified to give high quality counseling and treatment services.
“Family Service Association offers a wide range of programs and services to residents in Atlantic County and in all of South Jersey including the NJ SHARES energy, telephone and water assistance programs. The partnership with NJ SHARES has helped us provide another piece to the puzzle in finding solutions to the many challenges facing families today”, said Dawn Belamarich, Program Director for FSA. For more on FSA programs visit: www.fsasj.org
News from the NJS-VZ Client Services Call Center
New Jersey SHARES Client Services has been assisting Verizon NJ Customers since October of 2005 and Danielle C. has been with NJ SHARES in the Verizon Lifeline Call Center since 2007.
I started at NJS part time, while I was still in High School. NJS worked closely with the advisors who ran the work study program at Steinert High School so this opportunity was made available to me. After High School, I had the opportunity to come on board full time and for the last seven years, I have had the chance to assist our clients on a daily basis with a discount on their Verizon phone bill. I am grateful for the opportunity that NJ SHARES has given me to work for this gratifying organization. Knowing that I am able to help these people in their time of need makes coming to work each day a pleasure. I anticipate NJ SHARES will continue to help many more clients in the future.
Social Security Administration
Social Security Administration Update
Social Security Website Turns 20
For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a world that doesn’t include the Internet. But twenty years ago, the world wide web was a strange new world for most people. Morning talk show hosts and news anchors mentioned “this Internet thing” as though they didn’t quite understand what it was. Time Magazine did a cover story about “the world’s largest computer network” as the next big thing.
On May 17, 1994-- pre-Google, pre-Facebook -- Social Security launched Social Security Online. The humble website included 20 pages and received 17,000 visits in its first month.
Now, in 2014, we average more than 17 million visits a month to our more than 45,000 pages. Last year alone, our website had 83 million visits. We offer 20 online services and more than half of the nation’s new retirees complete their applications online. Plus, it’s easy to navigate, read, and understand our website. Just this year, Social Security won the ClearMark Award of Distinction from the Center for Plain Language for our Internet website redesign.
Visit our award-winning website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
New King of Baby Names
There’s a new king in town. Noah is the most popular name for boys, unseating Jacob and becoming the first new name to top the list for boys since 1960 (with the exception of Jacob and Michael).
Sophia remains at the top of the list for most popular baby name for girls, where it has reigned for three years.
Each year, Social Security releases the top baby names based on Social Security card applications for newborns. Learn more about the most popular names and see where you and the children in your life fit in the top 10—or the top 1,000—by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/2014/babynames2013-pr.html.
Faces and Facts of Disability
Social Security touches the lives of many Americans, often during times of hardship, transition, or uncertainty. Our benefit programs—retirement, survivors, and disability—offer financial protection for people and families when they need it most.
Our new website and campaign, The Faces and Facts of Disability, provides facts about the Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, program, as well as personal stories about the people helped by disability benefits. The numbers and facts are important. But the inspiring stories of real people—our neighbors, family and friends—tell the real story of what Social Security disability benefits are all about. Find out for yourself at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.
Eldercare Abuse Awareness Day
Although Social Security serves people of all ages, the vast majority of our beneficiaries are retirees. We care about those we serve, which is why we have special interest in supporting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.
Started in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization (WHO), the day’s purpose is to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older people so that we can help prevent it.
According to WHO, “Elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair.”
Learn more about elder abuse and how to stop it at the National Center on Elder Abuse, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, at www.ncea.aoa.gov.
My Social Security
My Social Security is a very important service offering that affects workers of every age since many currently are working or already are receiving Social Security (and/or Supplemental Security Income) benefits. People age 18 and older can sign up for an account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
How to Create an Online Account
What You Can Do Online