A Note from the Community Outreach Director
I joined the Habitat for Humanity of Trenton team in August of 2015 as the Community Outreach Director and I've been having a blast getting to work with such a great organization and group of people. I have to do a lot of different things on the job, but by far the most rewarding has been coordinating and working with volunteers on the construction site. Like most of our volunteers I don't have any construction experience and it has been so much fun getting to learn how to use the tools on the site and to get to point to something and say "I built that."
It took me by surprise how giving people can be. Arianna Lee, from Princeton, invited me to her 7th birthday party this winter. She didn't want it to be all about her. She wanted her special day to be an opportunity to raise funds for three other charities, so she had a chili cook-off. Sadly, my sweet potato black bean chili didn't win, but they ate it all and I'll take that as a victory. I was also surprised by the support we received for our March Madness fundraiser. Sadly, we didn't win the grand prize, but our individual and group volunteers really rallied behind the month long fundraiser. It's been humbling to see people from such different backgrounds coming together to support affordable and safe housing for all.
- Gulu Brewer
Alpha Chi Rho
Habitat for Humanity is one of the five National Philanthropies of the Alpha Chi Rho National Men's Collegiate Fraternity. At The College of New Jersey we take that to heart. The Phi Gamma Chi chapter holds events every semester to raise money for the local Habitat for Humanity headquarters stationed in Trenton, and often help with constructing houses and other projects. The Habitat for Humanity Camp Out, an event famous to all TCNJ students, occurs every semester. Brothers of AXP camp out on campus for several nights and collect money from passing students. We often end up raising around two or three thousand dollars for Habitat, which we pride ourselves on.
Last semester brothers spent an entire day working on a Habitat rehab project. Our president, Edward Melamed, remembers the experience as "a rewarding way to give back to the community." The chapter looks forward to more building opportunities in the future. This semester brothers participated in a Johnson and Johnson sponsored event called "In It to Win It." Over the course of two fun filled hours brothers were able to raise $3,000 for Habitat! With our camp out just weeks away, we are confident we can raise even more money for Habitat for Humanity.
- The Brothers of Alpha Chi Rho
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
A sense of duty is an integral part of the U.S. Military. For service members and civilians at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst their service extends outside of their day to day duties.
JB-MDL's Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Team is comprised of 75 Air Force and Army Enlisted Officers and Civilians. This year they have volunteered more than 175 hours at the Trenton and Burlington County branches of Habitat for Humanity. The volunteers have assisted with the construction of seven homes in Trenton, helping to provide safe and affordable housing for families in need. They have also volunteered at Habitat's ReStore in Maple Shade.
The Learning Lab
The Learning Lab is Habitat for Humanity of Trenton's afterschool program jointly run with Urban Promise of Trenton. The Learning Lab provides students in grades K-5 with individualized attention and mentorship in academics and beyond. Currently, Ms. Damary Caraballo of Urban Promise of Trenton serves as Program Director with assistance from TCNJ's Bonner Community Scholars Program.
The Learning Lab runs Monday-Thursday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Students receive daily tutoring help and at least 30 minutes of guided reading to promote literacy. We provide students with an afterschool snack, as well as several enrichment trips.
Recent & Upcoming Events at the Learning Lab:
This past December, Bloomberg LLC took the Learning Lab to Barnes & Noble where each student was allowed to purchase $20 worth of books. Our students enjoyed reading and drinking hot chocolate with Bloomberg employees. Bloomberg LLC frequently sponsors trips for Learning Lab students and we anticipate future trips working closely with the gracious Bloomberg employees. Bloomberg works with several arts & culture organizations in the area including the Franklin Institute, Please Touch Museum, and Liberty Science Center. We look forward to planning future trips at these venues with the gracious help from Bloomberg.
On Sunday, April 24th at 1 p.m, the Learning Lab has a field trip scheduled for students to attend a Trenton Thunder Game. Students and chaperones must arrive at the Learning Lab by 12:30 p.m. Permission slips with more information will be provided to students as the date nears. Volunteer chaperones are welcome to attend! See email address below if interested.
The Learning Lab summer program dates are set to be July 5th-July 29th, 2016.
Stay up to date on all Learning Lab events by checking out our Facebook page, The Learning Lab of East Trenton!
Contact UPtrentonLearningLab@gmail.com for ways to donate, volunteer, and get more information on our Summer 2016 Program!