Bring change, change lives, Friday in Seaside Heights
The coins jingling loosely in your pocket might see someone through a desperate hour. This Friday in Seaside Heights, you and your change - or paper, or check - can make a difference.
TD Bank turns its Seaside Heights branch into a support vehicle for the volunteers of Simon's Soup Kitchen, the donation-driven group that provides as many as 250 meals twice each week to people living on the edge with nowhere to turn.
All donations raised during the "Bring Change" event go directly to the purchase of food and supplies to keep the kitchen cooking.
When it opened in 2004, the enterprise on the grounds of Our Lady of Perpetual Help fed about 50 people once each week. Its steady growth slammed to a halt in October 2012, when Superstorm Sandy filled the parish hall with sea water about five feet deep. But with determination and support, volunteers reopened in time to mark the storm's first anniversary.
The staff of more than 200 strives to turn meals into a communal experience that helps strangers become friends. Tables teem with baskets of bread, rolls and butter, followed by soup or chili, entrees, fresh salads, desserts and fresh fruits, and unlimited beverages.
Children get special attention, each leaving with a packaged breakfast for the next morning.
Business owners and employees have a unique way to connect with the community. "Sponsor The Night" gives them the chance to work as a team to prepare and plate an evening's repast.