A Message from the Executive Director

Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon

Autumn is one of the most glorious seasons here at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Not only is our campus beautiful in the golden light, but we eagerly anticipate some of the events which are most central to our mission:  Helping families, educating children, teens, and adults, and embracing the holiday season.


The past 1 ½ years have forced many of our clients to face overwhelming loss and hardship.  Our creative and hardworking staff has embraced the challenge, rising to the occasion time after time to create new programming to address the myriad needs of our participants.  The Food Project continues to bring much-needed sustenance to those individuals in far-flung regions of our service area who are without transportation.  PSS Journey has returned to the road and has been met with enthusiasm in every municipality. 

Our virtual services remain a constant source of support for homebound individuals and parents, and this year we have augmented the roster to reach breast cancer survivors, train adults about child abuse prevention, and help job seekers find meaningful employment through our Virtual Career Fairs. 


So, what’s next?  With our new PACEs initiative, we are introducing new workshops to highlight the prevention of childhood trauma, while we continue to address the educational needs of young adults with the New Jersey Youth Corps and Bridges to Employing Youth courses.  Women are getting help with returning to the workforce by participating in the Higher Opportunities for Women employment skills training program.  Other career and legal education services also continue to be offered.


A Taste of Talent returned this fall and was hosted by the elegant North Shore House.  This event raises funds that are crucial to our mission, and we are exceptionally grateful to the chefs, volunteer musicians, and donors who came together to make this a memorable occasion. 


In November, we anticipate providing complete Thanksgiving feasts to more than 450 families.  Our hearts are full of joy as we witness the overwhelming generosity of our community for those in need.


The Season of Hope Toy Shop is always a momentous event at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Thousands of infants, children, and teens will be able to find gifts under the tree thanks to the hundreds of individuals, organizations, schools, churches, law enforcement officers, first responders, and businesses who take the time to purchase new, unwrapped toys for our families.  Each year, the overwhelming need is matched a cascade of generosity from all of you.  We can’t thank you enough.


We wish you good health and happiness as we continue to navigate a path through this pandemic.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support of Project Self-Sufficiency.

With Gratitude,

Deborah Berry-Toon, MSW

Executive Director