MERCK Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to Expand Services at the Rahway Family Success Center
United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) is a leader in creating comprehensive, community-driven local services that build upon the Union County Family Strengthening Network. One of our main goals is to help families achieve success. For that reason, Merck Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant for the Rahway Family Success Center and to expand services and programs to support family strengthening initiatives.
In November 2015, the Rahway Family Success Center (FSC) was opened to provide a wide array of critical social services to families in need in the municipality of Rahway. The FSC is a partnership between the United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC), County of Union (UC), and Rahway Community Action Center (RCAO).
Located in Rahway’s JFK Community Center at 796 E. Hazelwood Avenue, the FCS will use this grant to provide additional resources and support for more families before they find themselves in a crisis. These services include child care assistance, computer lab training programs, job search and access to on-line job applications, energy assistance, family engagement activities, food stamps/Medicaid assistance, parenting workshops, resume writing and tax preparation.
More importantly, there are two new areas in which the Center will now be able to establish additional services for families in need. The first area is food services via providing a steady, reliable source of food, in partnership with the Community Food Bank. The FSC will establish a food pantry which will consist of canned goods as well as fresh fruit, meat, and vegetables. The food pantry is in response to the UWGUC healthy eating initiative. This initiative and the distribution of fresh foods are part of a partnership with ShopRite of Linden. The second area is addressing child/family needs, featuring a “diaper depot” where families may obtain baby items and clothing as well as adult clothes suitable for job interviews and similar supplies.
To further promote FSC’s services and programs, a new communication strategy will be in effect to adequately deliver information and materials that focus on the needs of families. This information will be disseminated and readily available for families including pamphlets on healthy nutrition for young children, emotional and physical developmental milestones for babies, job announcements, training and career opportunities, parenting workshops, and other resources families need to become stronger. This new communication strategy will encourage more residents to frequent the center and receive the resources and services needed as well as build stronger bonds with the partnering organizations listed above.