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January 13, 2012

Wood-Ridge Republican Club continues help for homeless veterans after the holidays.

By JASON MOUSSAB
      Staff Writer

While the holidays are meant to spend time with family and friends, Forrest Elliot, the chair of the Wood-Ridge Republican Club, donated some of his to the Alfred J. Thomas Transition Home for veterans in Garfield. 

“Last year I had five turkeys to be given out and they were in need so I gave it to them,” he said. “While I was at the home, I had a chance to talk with one of the staff members there and I was impressed with the work they were doing.”

 During that initial meeting, Elliot decided that he would like to contribute anyway he could to help with their program.

He first asked for donations from the neighboring towns and counties, but due to the lack of support, he decided to change directions.

Elliot then went to the Passaic County Education Association (PCEA), which he is a member of, in hopes of having them spread the word to each Passaic County school.

And spread the word they did!

“They [PCEA] donated over seven plastic bins of notebooks, planners, journals, pens, pencils, personal items and household goods,” he acknowledged.

In addition, the Association donated $1,000 so Elliot could buy toys for the children of the veterans, who have “fallen on hard times.”

He went on to say, “These children had a Christmas because of the teachers in Passaic County.”

A former Woodrow Wilson Middle school teacher and colleague to Elliot also donated $250 for a self-help program.

Elliot hopes that in the future more people and companies come forward with donations, whether it be some of their time or useful items that the home can use.

“My expectations are that we find someone who will develop, for free, a website just for the home,” he said. “With their own website, people will be able to find them.”  

Secondly, Elliot would like to contact companies, “that would be willing to send a worker to the home to train the vets on computer use, resume writing, interview skills, etc.”

“Maybe the companies would hire a few of these vets,” he said.

Presently, Elliot and the home are in the process of giving the veterans a Super Bowl party.

“I have received donations from Sheppard Bakery in Hackensack and Terra Chips in Moonachie,” he stated.

However, they still need more donations.

For more information on how to donate items or help the veterans, please contact Forrest Elliot at (201) 372-0556.

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