Monday, December 15, 2008

Introducing Bessie Green Community, Inc.

In 1979, Ms. Bessie Green made a decision that seemed simple at the time but has impacted thousand of lives in the 30 years since. Bessie sold her fur coat and brought the proceeds to the pastors of North Reformed Church in Newark, New Jersey. Her instructions were to use the money to assist someone who perhaps could not afford a coat of their own, much less a fur coat. This simple act of generosity has blossomed into an organization taking on Bessie's name that assists several thousand people each year with food, clothing and a variety of other resources and services.

Bessie Green Community, Inc. currently offers the following services:

  • Emergency Food Support -- On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, beginning on the 15th of each month, bags containing a variety of food items is available to people presenting a valid referral from a local social service agency. Walk-ins (those without referrals or arriving on other than the usual food days) are accommodated in special circumstances as resources allow.
  • Senior Day -- On the last Friday of each month, senior citizens (age 62 or older) are invited to receive a bag of food items without a referral. This program routinely serves well over 125 seniors each month - usually many more.
  • Clothing Barn -- Each Tuesday and Thursday, we are open to those in need of clean used clothing, donated by many generous individuals and supporting institutions such as churches and social groups.
  • Food Line & Social Services -- Under the leadership of partner group Preparing the Way Outreach Ministries, and in association with our host institution, North Reformed Church, Bessie Green partners in a daily (Monday - Friday) program that offers a meal and a variety of social services, offering support in substance abuse referrals, housing referrals, job networking, criminal record expungement assistance, and many other bits of assistance to help people grow in their lives. More than anything, this program is designed to offer peaceful fellowship in a safe and healthy environment.
  • Day Staff Work Development -- Our organization is staffed in part by men and women seeking development in work habits and looking to assist in helping the community. These workers fill several cleaning, maintenance and security roles, receiving a small cash stipend for their efforts.
  • Volunteer Development -- We also develop the gift of volunteerism in those seeking growth in life and looking to develop a pattern of helping in the community. This is a portion of our effort increasing quickly as lives are changed and people begin striving for something better in life.
Bessie Green Community, Inc., is a growing enterprise, searching for more connecting points in the community where we can assist in the development of Newark. Stay tuned for new ideas we can pursue.