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As you may know, our partner families prepare for homeownership by contributing “sweat equity.” You might picture them putting in time on the construction site building their home and fellow partner families’ homes as well as repairing homes for neighbors in need. But did you know you can also find our partner families at the ReStore, assembling furniture and unloading donations at the Replenishment Center? That’s right, and it’s important to note that all partner families are required to attend homeownership preparation and financial classes, which also count toward their 250-400 hours of Sweat Equity.
But some partner families choose to volunteer in the community as a part of their sweat equity, and this holiday season, one of our families has gone above and beyond to give back.
Anthony “Tony” House, along with his wife and daughter, will soon move into a new affordable Habitat home in Palmyra. As an Army National Guard Veteran, Tony has lived a life of service. Even now, he continues serving his community by volunteering with TouchNJ. For the past 2 years, he has supported the organization’s work of alleviating food insecurity and poverty in Camden and beyond. With the holidays approaching, Tony thought it only made sense to connect TouchNJ with his fellow partner families and staff at Habitat who have worked alongside him to make his dream of homeownership come true.
The week before Thanksgiving, Tony and TouchNJ volunteers delivered 80 boxes of groceries to Habitat homeowners, partner families, and staff. They traveled to ReStore locations in Maple Shade, Hamilton, and Egg Harbor with boxes filled to the brim with both perishable and nonperishable items that could be used for the holiday as well as every day cooking.
Those receiving boxes were beyond grateful, as they have weathered the last eight months of the pandemic. And yet, they’ve demonstrated continuous strength and optimism through it all, and during a time full of isolation and uncertainty it’s moments like this that we truly feel connected and supported.
The good deeds and giving doesn’t stop there. Tony and TouchNJ are already preparing for a second round of deliveries in the coming weeks so that families may enjoy their holidays with food on their tables and in their bellies as they make lasting memories.
Thank you to Tony and everyone who helped make this day of giving possible. You’ve shown us what we mean when we say we are stronger together!
More About Our Partner Family
In his youth, Anthony “Tony” House Tony enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and trained as a combat medic. Tony’s son is currently enlisted as a Petty Officer Second Class for the United States Navy at the Norfolk Academy.
Tony worked in the Banking Industry for 20 years before switching careers to Food Service. After a serious accident and several serious health issues, Tony has focused recent years on his recovery. During this time, he has been volunteering with TouchNJ and working toward owning an affordable home with his wife through Habitat.
About TOUCH New Jersey
TOUCH New Jersey, Inc. is a food distribution alliance that was formed in 2003 and first operated as a “shopping food pantry” in and around the city of Camden. After gradual growth and incorporation over the years, TOUCH New Jersey has been operating in North Camden since 2015 and has impacted the local residents to the extent that over 10,000 pounds of food are distributed each Wednesday. The present all-volunteer food Pantry is based in the New Beginnings Church at 549 State Street.
The pantry is open each Wednesday for 4 hours, allowing low-income, elderly and disabled residents to shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy, bread and other food staples. TOUCH’s operations are staffed by volunteers, currently “rescuing” and distributing food to an average of 350 families per week in all of the outreaches. As a certified agency with Philabundance, TOUCH New Jersey receives foodstuffs from ACME supermarkets throughout South Jersey as well as the Walmarts and the Philabundance Produce Hub in South Philadelphia. Learn more at: https://touchnewjersey.org/