ELIZABETH – Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ, one of the fastest growing international Christian organizations, will thank residents of Union County on Saturday, Aug. 6, for their continuous support and hospitality throughout its growth, at its inaugural Neighborhood Appreciation Day hosted at the Elizabeth house of worship on 1374 North Avenue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hundreds of community members are expected to receive access to free services for everyday living sponsored by the Iglesia ni Cristo, including health screenings and wellness education; pet checkups by certified veterinarians; family studio portraits; children’s games and crafts; food and entertainment with prizes; PC/computer diagnostics by certified IT professionals; and guided tours to welcome residents to the chapel in Elizabeth.
The day of service is part of the INC Giving Project, the organization’s newly launched philanthropic program to help families and communities during challenging economic times, leveraging the skills and expertise of church members to implement positive solutions and offer services for the basic needs of their neighbors.
“The services we’re offering our neighbors are strategically aligned with the needs of the region to ensure we’re providing children and families everyday resources not often supplied free of cost.” said Manuel Palad, Iglesia ni Cristo District Minister of Northeastern Seaboard. “More nonprofits are unfortunately closing their doors with the downturn of the economy, but even after nearly 100 years, the INC is still growing internationally; it’s our way of saying thank you to our neighbors and opening our doors to those who’ve welcomed us on their street every week for the last 29 years.”
Just minutes away from Newark Liberty International Airport, the community establishment will soon be under renovation for an expansion on the current property to accommodate its continuous increase in members; its growth has led to the development of additional local congregations throughout the state in Jersey City, Central New Jersey and Wrightstown. There are currently more than 38 congregations in the Northeastern region of the U.S. alone.
While nonprofits and faith-based organizations have long helped fill the gap between those in need and what the government provides in benefits and social services, the increased cut of state programs and the impact of the recession is widening the gap. Cuts to social-service programs mean charitable groups and faith-based organizations are expected to service more people with even greater needs.
“We don’t want to just say thank you to our neighbors, we want to show them our appreciation,” said Palad. “Our members are taking a multi-service approach to addressing the issues facing residents of the area while setting the tone for future initiatives that support family and neighborhood development.”
The mission of the INC Giving Project is to extend the presence of the Iglesia ni Cristo members to its community partners by supporting their efforts to provide solutions to help families succeed and achieve. The Neighborhood Appreciation Day in Elizabeth is part of a global initiative to share faith through acts of kindness by meeting people’s everyday needs, engaging thousands of members in supporting local neighborhoods and strengthening the bond with their communities.
For more information on the Neighborhood Appreciation Day or upcoming INC Giving projects in the region, call 1-908-249-3426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Elizabeth local congregation house of worship is located at 1374 North Avenue.
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