A Message from the Executive Director

Normally, the dawn of a new year brings the opportunity to reflect on the gifts of the past while anticipating the possibilities of the future.  This year, the community's support of our agency during the ongoing pandemic has underscored our gratitude, but the uncertainty the public health crisis brings has challenged our ability to forecast events of the new year.

We are awed by the bountiful donations which were received in support of the holiday initiatives at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Because of the munificence of our friends and neighbors, more than 500 families enjoyed complete Thanksgiving feasts; the Earth Angels program provided gifts, warmth, and support to more than 80 senior citizens; and beautiful, new coats were distributed to 450 children and adults.  The Season of Hope Toy Drive once again reflected all that is good in our community.  A record 38 schools in Sussex and Northern Warren County participated in the Stuff the Stocking contest, collecting thousands of toys for their fellow children and teens.  During the toy shop, musicians boosted the spirits of staff, patrons, and volunteers.  Countless individuals, businesses, churches, schools, restaurants, and civic organizations all came together to make sure that 2,165 children and teens had gifts under their trees.  More importantly, these families felt the love and compassion extended to them by all of you.  We can’t thank you enough.


So how do we regroup and move on in the face of rising covid infections in our area?  By doing what we have always done at Project Self-Sufficiency:  Assess, Adapt, and Act.


Now more than ever, families need help with emergency basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, but also with legal concerns, healthcare, parenting, job training, education, and many other issues.  These concerns propel us to do our part to address their needs as seamlessly as possible.


PSS staff is strong and resilient.  For two years, we have adapted the bulk of our programming to allow remote access to those who could not visit us in person.  Consultations with parents, support groups, career center courses, parenting and family activities, and legal seminars have all been made available virtually.  In addition, The Food Project continues to roll, bringing food and essential supplies to those in need.  New programming, such as the PACEs initiative, brings fresh perspectives to challenges in our community.

Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon

As always, we continue to need your support.  We rely on a cadre of dedicated volunteers and donors to bring our services to the individuals and families who need them most.  No matter the number of hours you can volunteer or the size of your monetary donation, every gift is welcomed and appreciated.  We simply cannot do our work without all of you.


Best wishes for a healthy, happy, safe, and prosperous New Year.

With gratitude,

Deborah Berry-Toon,

Executive Director