IFS In the News

Newark-based Independence: A Family of Services is taking on some of the toughest issues our city faces. Here’s how.


Independence: A Family of Services launched as Independence High School in 1971. Now the nonprofit works to create the pathways to success for at-risk and troubled youth and families through innovative programs and services in urban New Jersey. CEO Margaret Woods walks us through the organizations overall mission, plus its specific objectives over the next few years. Independence is one of five Newark nonprofits participating in the GAIN collective.

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As A Small Business Owner, Customize Your Customer Service


William O’dea

Commentary by Bill O’dea, Executive Director, Elizabeth Development Company

June 2015, Volume 1 Issue 2

The good news for 2015 is that many of us feel the rise in consumer confidence, and as small business owners, you may be feeling better about the economy. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle website, the “Selig Center for Economics at the University of Georgia Terry School of Business and their 2014 Multicultural Report, U.S. minorities buying power has reached the highest levels and is outpacing inflation. They estimate that by 2019 Hispanics will account for 10.6 % of total U.S. buying power and Black buying power has seen an 86% increase since 2000 and accounts for 8.7% of the nation’s total.”

North Jersey companies continue thread of business contributing to charity

In an article on, Lourdes Cortez is quoted. “Seventy-five to 80 percent of our employees volunteer,” said Cortez. “It’s people helping people.”

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Annual Fundraising Campaign Up & Running

News from United Way of Greater Union County

To donate:

Together, United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) and its many partners are building a stronger, healthier community. Our Annual Campaign has started with many professionals, businesses and volunteers gearing up to meet these very challenging times.  Globally we face many serious issues, but locally, right in our own neighborhoods, families are struggling to meet their most basic of needs.

Together, we can change the odds so that all children and their families, regardless of their circumstances, have the same chance to succeed in school and in life.   Our goal is to raise $3.2 million.

Together, as an example, UWGUC and UPS enjoyed a campaign kick-off cookout to spread the word among its employees that its time to make a pledge through their easy-to-use payroll deduction form. On Friday, August 15th at the Newark Airport hub, raffles were held for UPS novelty items such as toy trucks and planes, and the proceeds went toward UWGUC.  UPS conducted this raffle again to encourage and remind its employees to give. Gratefully, UPS has reached 40% of their goal in the first week.

Together, your donation to United Way helped to improve someone’s life. Because of a successful campaign season last year:

• 1,500 children attended quality childcare and afterschool programs helping them to prepare for, and succeed in school.

• Over 5,000 families received support through energy assistance, rental assistance, financial support assistance, legal counseling, foreclosure counseling assistance and more.

• Over 55 individuals received their GED’s.

• More than 100 disadvantaged individuals (low-income or vulnerable) became employed.

• More than 5,000 children and adults received discounted prescription drugs benefits.

• More than 100 first-time mothers received access to prenatal care and child well-being training.

Together, United Way of Greater Union County and its staff, Board and volunteers say THANK YOU!

Woman Finds Hope at NCC After Job Loss

Success Story-Sharon Thompkins, helped by Family Resource Center after job loss, Jan. 2014Not long ago, Sharon Thompkins was a stable, employed, administrative assistant with more than two decades of experience working for the Newark Housing Authority. Then she was laid off, six months before she would have qualified for her pension.

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News from United Way of Greater Union County

United Way Community News