This is the time of year when we start thinking about the people who are less fortunate.

And New Jersey people are some of the most generous people in the country.

Holiday charities bring out the best side of New Jerseyans.

One of the most heartwarming gestures I have seen this holiday season is a program put together by Somerset county to help those less fortunate.

It’s called adopt a family.

Since 2010, the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners has been supporting the Adopt-A-Family program by helping to raise almost $300,000.

In 2021, participating non-profit organizations received $26,245 through the Adopt-A-Family program.

The World-Famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® Kicks Off The Holiday Season For Millions Of Television Viewers Watching Safely At Home
Getty Images for Macy's Inc.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, more than 17,000 Somerset County residents were identified as food insecure in 2019.

Residents can help feed their neighbors in need by donating to the 13th annual Adopt-A-Family program.

A donation of $48 will feed a family of six, but any donation amount will be gratefully accepted.

Last year, Adopt-A-Family raised more than $26,000, which helped provide hundreds of Thanksgiving meals to in-need families.

Facebook/Gress House Holiday Spectacular
Facebook/Gress House Holiday Spectacular

This Thanksgiving, participating organizations hope to feed even more families with the help of generous donations through the Adopt-A-Family program.

Residents interested in donating can send a check or money order to any participating organization.

Facebook/Gress House Holiday Spectacular
Facebook/Gress House Holiday Spectacular

Donors who pay by check should write “Adopt-A-Family” on the memo line and enclose a completed donation form in an envelope with their check.

Donations postmarked by Saturday, Nov. 19, will help the most amount of people.

For more info or to donate online click here.

Even though the economy is tough, there are many people less fortunate than you. Help make their holiday season a little easier and brighter.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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