Newton, NJ

Woodworking Organization Donates Toys to Project Self-Sufficiency

Project Self-Sufficiency
The Water Gap Woodturners will hold a demonstration at the Peters Valley School of Craft on Saturday, December 4th.Project Self-Sufficiency

The public is invited to attend a demonstration of the traditional art of woodturning on Saturday, December 4th, 10:00 a.m., at the Peters Valley School of Craft Wood Shop. Members of the Water Gap Woodturners will create magic wands, spinning tops, yo-yo’s, and ball catchers for donation to the Season of Hope Toy Shop, the local toy drive spearheaded by Project Self-Sufficiency to benefit thousands of children and teens in Sussex and Northern Warren Counties. Peters Valley is located at 19 Kuhn Road in Layton.

Water Gap Wood Turners President, Jim Cerra, is a retired attorney with a long history of volunteering for Project Self-Sufficiency. “I’ve had an ongoing relationship with Project Self-Sufficiency for a long time,” noted Cerra, who indicated that the group had been donating the hand-crafted items to the agency for several years. “Typically, we do monthly demonstrations that teach woodturning. This event is a workshop to make toys to hand over to Project Self-Sufficiency for Christmas.”

“We are so flattered that the men and women of the Water Gap Woodturners have selected Project Self-Sufficiency to receive these one-of-a-kind toys,” stated Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. “These toys were made with love and that generous spirit is what the Season of Hope Toy Drive is all about.”

The Season of Hope Toy Drive is coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency to benefit thousands of children in Sussex and Northern Morris and Warren counties. Toys, gift cards and monetary donations will also be gratefully received at Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill Street in Newton, Monday – Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. or Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. To donate online, or for more information, visit or call 973-940-3500.

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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 donate or for more information about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500.

Newton, NJ

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Area Schools Collected Record Number of Toys in Friendly Competition

Students from the Pope John Middle School and the Stuff the Stocking trophy.Project Self-Sufficiency. Students from a record-breaking 38 schools in Sussex and Northern Warren Counties spent the last few weeks of 2021 collecting more than 7,500 new, unwrapped toys in a friendly Stuff the Stocking competition to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency’s Season of Hope Toy Drive. Each year, the winning school takes home the coveted Stuff the Stocking trophy, along with a monetary donation to their school’s activity fund. Second and third place winners also receive monetary donations for their schools. Pope John XXIII Middle School was the victor in the 2021 contest, with more than 1,000 toys collected. Returning champion Reverend George A. Brown Memorial School tied with the Hardyston Middle School for second place. Additional honors went to Longest Running Stocking Stuffer Hilltop Country Day School, Most Consistent Stocking Stuffer Green Hills School, and Most Spirited Stocking Stuffer North Warren Regional. Rookie Stocking Stuffer of the Year went to first-time participant Oxford Central School. Local schools which collected more than 100 toys included Byram Intermediate School, Franklin Elementary School, Frelinghuysen Elementary School, High Point Regional High School, Newton High School, Pope John High School, Sparta Township Middle School, Stillwater Elementary School, Sussex Technical School, and Vernon Township High School.

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