In 2021 the Rotary Club of Greater Long Branch started Jingle Bell Buddies, headed up by Terry Janeczyk, to bring the joy of Christmas to five local families. The Long Branch School System supplied names of families in need, who were then asked to fill out wish lists. The club did everything possible to make their wishes come true. In addition, the families were supplied with groceries to help get them through the holidays. Approximately $1,000 was budgeted for each family including parents and children.
After the success of last year’s Jingle Bell Buddies the club expanded the number of families to 10 for 2022. After months of planning about 20 volunteers formed nine teams to shop for gifts and groceries for each family which were delivered on 12/22 and 12/23 by Santa and Mrs. Claus with the help of happy elves. One child, it was noted, asked for sheets.
This year Mrs. Claus teamed up with Santa (club members Marianne Powers & Gordon Heggie) for a double treat for the kids and parents alike. The joy expressed by the families made the Rotary slogan “Service Above Self” even more meaningful to those who volunteered.
It takes a community for projects like Jingle Bell Buddies to be successful. With inflation at an all-time high this past year it has been difficult for many families to get by. Thank you to all the club members who volunteered at the fundraisers and to those who shopped and delivered the food and gifts to the families.
Thank you to the following businesses for their generous donations that helped make this project possible:
Atlantic Fire & Security, Inc. Damiano Funeral Home, Inc. Lawrence and Irene Daum Michael DeJohn, Delicious Orchards, Fine Fare Supermarket, PTJ Inc. Jan’s Optical, Monmouth University, Al Peskoe, Sacco’s Landscape, Inc. Adam Schneider, Ronald and Samira Shalhoub Lex Tucci – Tucci, Hot & Crupi, Wave of Hope Foundation Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home
If you would like to help next year please contact Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive information next fall.
Wondering what Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Greater Long Branch is about? Rotary’s 1.2 million members worldwide believe that helping to change the world starts with a personal commitment to “Service Above Self”. In more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, you’ll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio.
For more information visit us at www.longbranchrotary.org or call (732) 483-6973.