Skip to main content

Local Teen Gathers New School Supplies for Needy Children


With a little help from her grandparents, Lois and Harold Pellow, 16-year-old Ali Stoner, collected 180 bags packed with new school supplies and donated them to local non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency.  Stoner solicited the help of her fellow athletes at High Point and the effort blossomed, eventually pulling in binders, pencils, paper, notebooks, and other essentials.  The items were stashed in decorative drawstring bags and made available to Project Self-Sufficiency for distribution to low-income students during August. 

Retired educator Lois Pellow is a longtime Project Self-Sufficiency supporter and a member of the agency’s Leadership Council.  “Every child deserves to start the year with new school supplies and so many kids are hurting right now,” commented Pellow.

Stoner, who has known about the needs of Project Self-Sufficiency families for many years thanks to her grandmother, was enthusiastic about the prospect of gathering supplies for local children.  “I loved seeing how you could help somebody by doing a project like this,” explains Stoner.  “It only takes a small bit of time but will have such a positive effect on these children’s lives in such a long-lasting way.”

Hundreds of children will receive new backpacks and school supplies from Project Self-Sufficiency this year.  “There is an unprecedented need for school supplies this year, since many schools are working on a hybrid model of remote and in-home learning, which means that students need twice as many supplies,” commented Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon.  “We are very grateful to Ali Stoner and her generous grandparents, Lois and Harold Pellow, for their thoughtfulness during this uncertain time for many families.”

Project Self-Sufficiency is a community-based non-profit organization which specializes in services for low-income families in northwestern New Jersey.  Programs offered at Project Self-Sufficiency include family literacy education, computer training and job placement services, assistance with parenting skills, childcare, counseling and advocacy, referrals, and help with emergency basic needs.  To make a donation, or for more information about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500. 


Popular posts from this blog

Sussex County Mourns the Loss of Community Philanthropist Beverly Gordon

  Beverly B. Gordon, beloved wife, treasured friend, philanthropist, and longtime Sussex County resident passed away on August 27, 2020.   She will be deeply mourned by her adoring husband of 35 years, Bruce Gordon, and remembered by many not only for her extensive philanthropic work but for her warm, vivacious, and caring personality. Beverly had a deep appreciation for beauty, wherever it could be found. Her passion for architecture and design, her numerous artistic talents from watercolor painting to floral arrangement, and her flawless personal style all reflected this. She was that rare individual who could be equally at home at a racetrack or dancing to the tunes of her favorite local band, Snake Oil Willie, as she was enjoying gourmet food at the most sophisticated events. Those blessed to know her friendship will remember it as an all-encompassing wave that swept over not just that person but everyone in their orbit. Her huge heart extended to animals as well as humans; Bever

Season of Hope Toy Drive Kicked Off Today

  The annual Season of Hope Toy Drive was launched by Project Self-Sufficiency and a consortium of businesses, schools, and social service agencies today.   The massive undertaking aims to provide gift cards and new, unwrapped toys to parents and caregivers of more than 2,000 children and teens in the New Jersey counties of Sussex and Northern Warren.   The toy drive is a joint effort which is driven and coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency, along with its partners D & K Services, First Hope Bank, Gravity DesignWorks, Intercar Mercedes Benz, Max 106.3, Newton Police Department, Off Shore Marine, Pass it Along, The Printing Center, Selective Insurance Company of America, Shop Rite, Stocker Bus Company, the Sussex and Warren County School Districts, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Community College, Sussex Honda, Sussex Technical School, the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots, WNNJ 103.7, and WSUS 102.3 to benefit local families in need.   Donations a

Career Help, Support Groups, Children's Activities Available Online

Virtual has become the new reality at Project Self-Sufficiency in Newton as the non-profit agency has pivoted to serving clients via video chat platforms and over the telephone due to the ongoing public health crisis. In addition to distributing record amounts of food to local families, the agency is now hosting support groups, career workshops, parenting forums, and other helpful gatherings online. All services are provided under the auspices of the Sussex County Family Success Center , which is funded by the New Jersey Department of Children & Families . All forums are free and open to the public. Interested participants are encouraged to call the agency to obtain log in information.   Noted author, life coach and motivational speaker Diane Lang hosts Motivation Monday, covering topics ranging from stress management to combatting loneliness.   Tuesdays are devoted to playful sessions for parents and children and hosted by staff members from the agency’s Little Sprout