Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Holidays To All!

On December 22, aided by several friends and community volunteers, Amelia and I co-hosted a holiday toy party for the children of the 4th Ward at the West End Gardens Community Center. After picking out a toy (or two!) of their own choice, each child sat for a photo with “Santa.”   
 While listening to cheerful holiday music, breaking bread and eating a delicious meal served by our friends, we were able to distribute over 150 toys to dozens of very happy kids—the smiles on their faces said it all, confirming  the old adage that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” 

 To all of you who gave donations, toys and time, we give you thanks; we continue to appreciate all that you do to help us make a difference in the lives of others.
As the year draws to a close, and we think about our New Year resolutions, let’s resolve to help our neighbors and assist our elderly. 

Let’s work on mentoring our young people (especially our young men), showing them by our own example how to be good citizens. 

Above all, let us be kind and respectful to each other.

May God bless you all in the new year!

Adrian and Amelia

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Party at Elm West

The holiday season is a time of year when family and friends come together to make merry, to have fun and to enjoy the blessings bestowed upon them. It is a very happy and special time of the year for most. Yet it is also a time of sadness for many parents who, along with their children, might not able to enjoy some of the simple joys of the season. This extremely harsh reality compels us to do something.

It is with this in mind and in the spirit of the holiday season that I will be hosting a party for about 50 kids and their parents at the Elm West Residents Association, from 3 – 6 pm on Saturday, December 22, 2012. Amelia and I, along with some of our friends, will have toys, gift cards and refreshments for the children and their parents.

We are collecting donations of toys and gift cards from all who would like to help us provide a wonderful holiday for those who are less fortunate. If you would like to participate and show your generosity in this season of giving, you may drop off your donations at our home at 535 West 8th Street. Please call (908) 577-0630 for further information.

Again, the party is scheduled for Saturday, December 22, 2012 from 3 – 6 pm.  We look forward to a fun evening with the parents and their children. Join us!

Warm regards,


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2)

Dear Friends,

Volunteer crew
At the YMCA
Not too long ago, my wife and I experienced the very harsh financial realities faced by so many Americans today; we were in an extremely difficult financial bind as a result of my being out of work. This reality was exposed to all of Plainfield in a flyer that was placed on car windows and in peoples’ mail boxes last year in an attempt to embarrass me and shame my family. That attempt failed, and we chose to lay bare the challenges that we were facing by letting the world know the truth of our financial condition. I wrote back then, “I am not immune to financial hardships; I am like all of the other people whose financial lives have been turned upside down due to their unemployment status and other special situations.” 

LAC Director Flor Gonzalez
With the Latin American Coalition
As I suspected, I was not alone; there were literally thousands of Plainfielders in my same plight, many of whom called me or dropped me a line to let me know that we were brothers and sisters in distress, caught in a financial tide that threatened to destroy our way of life. Some people came up to me and said “Adrian, I know what you are feeling; I am where you are.”

Roni gives marching orders at the YMCA
That was roughly 18 months ago. Since that time, I have found employment, and my family and I are on the road to recovery. The road still has some ruts and bumps, but as I wrote then, “I know, beyond any doubt, that the Creator will smile on me and I will repay every debt that I owe.”
Cedarbrook Apts with Reather and Bev
My family and I were extremely fortunate during Hurricane Sandy. Although we were without power for several days, we were spared the serious damage that has affected so many of the residents of our city. Especially hard-hit were many of our senior citizens, who had to suffer through the cold and darkness, empty out refrigerators which were filled with spoiled food, and whose only hot meals were those delivered by the Salvation Army. 

At Richmond Towers
Covenant Manor in the 1st Ward
Making a delivery at Tower West
As I was out canvassing parts of the Third Ward and visiting those at our senior citizen buildings across the city, the comments I heard consistently had to do with replacing food and having enough money to enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving. Amelia and I knew that there was something we could do for those in need—following the lead of other organizations in the city, such as many of our churches and other charities, we purchased turkeys and gathered some volunteers to assist us in distributing them to the senior residences and to other groups and individuals. 

With Kim of "Kym's Kitchen"
I would like to highlight one individual, Kim, in whose yearly "Kym's Kitchen Annual Facebook Thanksgiving Drive" we were happy to be able to participate. Kim collects food donations from all parts of our city, and with her own team, organizes and delivers dozens of Thanksgiving food baskets (with vegetables, gravy, yams, boxed pasta, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn bread mix, cake mix, frosting, beverages, rice, canned milk, butter, eggs, meats, including chicken, turkey, ham, and more) to those who otherwise would go without. She does this for no other reason than that it is the right thing to do. It is hard work, but Kim's humble devotion to the less fortunate exemplifies the Plainfield spirit!

So, friends, the season of giving has just begun, and it is with extreme humility that we offer our small gift; we are thankful that we were able to share what God has blessed us with.

Have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

Adrian and Amelia

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thursday, November 15 - Red Cross Emergency Assistance in Plainfield!


The American Red Cross will be providing 
Emergency Assistance and Disaster Relief to all residents on:

Thursday, November, 15, 2012
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

at the following three (3) Plainfield locations:

Plainfield Public Works City Yard
745 South Avenue

Plainfield 3 Engine Station
1147 West Third Street

Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority
427 Cottage Place

La Cruz Roja Americana estarĂ¡ presente para ofrecer 
asistencia de desastres a todos los residentes el:

Jueves, 15 de Noviembre del 2012
11:00 a.m. a 6:00 p.m.

En los siguientes Tres (3) lugares:

City of Plainfield – Public Works City Yard
745 South Avenue

City of Plainfield – 3 Engine Station
1147 West Third Street

Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority
427 Cottage Place