Bright Side Education Recent News

Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation Distributes Critical PPE to Northeasterners on Frontlines of COVID-19

North Kingstown, RI – January 12, 2021 – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has leveraged its global supply chain to provide hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare organizations and municipalities.

In continuation of that effort, the Foundation is currently distributing more than $1.7 million worth of additional PPE to police and fire departments in the 142 communities where Ocean State Job Lot stores are located across the Northeast.

The donations include pallets of PPE including face shields, KN95 masks, antibacterial and disinfecting hand wipes, and hand sanitizer, for a total retail value of $12,000 to each community.

“As this global health crisis continues to take a toll on our healthcare and public safety systems, it’s imperative to provide any support and relief to our frontline workers that we can,” said David Sarlitto, Executive Director of the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation. “At OSJL, we’re deeply invested in philanthropy and community reinvestment, and these donations are just another example of our commitment to that as well as the incredible generosity of our customers. While we can’t ever repay our frontline workers for the lifesaving work that they do, we’ll continue to partner with our customers to do what we can to provide the tools necessary to make their jobs easier and keep them safe.”

Since late March 2020, OSJL has acquired and distributed more than $15 million worth of critical supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19, such as gloves, masks, disinfectants, sanitizers, eye protection, and more.

Prior to this new round of donations, the Foundation had already handed out more than 1.2 million surgical masks to those on the frontlines, including 4,800 to each police and fire department in the communities in which its stores are located.

In September, the Foundation distributed premium massage chairs, valued at nearly $7,000 each, to hospitals throughout the Northeast to provide healthcare workers with an opportunity to relieve stress.

These efforts are in addition to its many ongoing charitable activities, including OSJL’s ‘Mask Fabric for Free’ campaign, which supplied customers with the fabric necessary to create an estimated 1.8 million homemade cloth face masks.

About Ocean State Job Lot

Founded in 1977, Ocean State Job Lot is a growing, privately held discount retail chain with 142 stores in New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, approximately 5,600 employees, and annual sales of approximately $800 million.

Ocean State Job Lot sells brand name, first quality merchandise at closeout prices.

Shoppers find an ever-changing array of household goods, apparel, pet supplies, seasonal products (holiday, gardening, patio, pool and beach supplies), and kitchen pantry staples at a fraction of their typical price.

The company was named a “Best Midsize Employer” by Forbes Magazine three of the last four years.

The Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has a long history of philanthropic leadership, supporting numerous causes, including feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, assisting veterans and military families, aiding animal rescue, caring for children, advancing healthcare, supporting the arts and promoting learning.

Ocean State Job Lot is headquartered at 375 Commerce Park Road in the Quonset Point Business Park, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Phone: (401) 295-2672; Web:

Bright Side Recent News

Creek Food Mart (in Newly Named “Creek Plaza) Set to Open in March

The new “Creek Food Mart” in Bellmawr (across from Bellmawr Lake) is set to open in March, 2021.

The food mart is the first tenant that will open in the strip that had been sitting mostly vacant and dilapidated for years.

All of the units there have been undergoing major renovations for some time now, and it is a welcoming sight.

Rendering of the soon to open Creek Food Mart credit: Harpeet “Bobby” Singh.

We recently spoke with the owner, Harpeet “Bobby” Singh and he said that he bought the property last year.

In addition to the food market, Singh said that he is communicating with other potential tenants and “would welcome them.”

SJO Photo

Singh who lives in nearby Deptford, said that the food mart is something he is bringing to Bellmawr because he would like to give the community something that is easy, convenient, reasonable, and affordable.

Harpeet “Bobby” Singh bought the strip stores across from Bellmawr Lake and has been renovating them. (SJO photo)

Singh stressed that town officials have been very accommodating to him as he renovates the property.

Of the renovations on a former eye sore and the potential for new business at that location, Mayor Chuck Sauter said: “We are so fortunate.”

I grew up down the street from here (in the “Dead End”) and it’s great to see new life being breathed into these stores.

We’ll provide updates as new tenants move in….hopefully soon!

Bright Side Recent News

Impact100 South Jersey Women’s Collective Giving Initiative to Award $200K in Grants to Local Nonprofits

CHERRY HILL, NJ   Impact100 South Jersey announced that it will award $200,000 in grants to local nonprofits as a result of its fall 2020 collective giving membership drive.

Members gathered virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 6 for the Big Reveal and celebration.  

The event was held to share the number of members who have joined and the total raised for grantmaking in 2021.  

This brings the total funds raised collectively by Impact100 South Jersey members to over $624,000 since 2017.

“With such a tremendous increase in need in our region, it’s been very rewarding to see how our generous members have responded, in a year that has been very challenging for many,” said Membership Co-Chair Angela Venti.  “On behalf of the Impact100 Leadership Council, I’d like to express our deep appreciation for the way our new and existing members embraced coming together virtually in lieu of in person events, which we miss so much.  We look forward to the time soon when we can bring our members together in person again to strengthen the bonds within our collective women’s giving community.”

Now that the fundraising total has been announced, Impact100 grant review volunteers will begin the process of awarding one $100,000 Core Mission Grant and two $50,000 General Operating Grants to nonprofit organizations that serve Burlington, Camden, Gloucester or Cumberland Counties.  

Grants will be awarded in three focus areas:  Women, Children and Families, Arts & Culture, and Community Health & Well-Being. 

Once the grant review process is complete, members will come together for an Annual Meeting in June to hear from finalist organizations and vote to determine which will receive the grants.

“In spite of the many issues brought on by the pandemic, South Jersey women have risen to the occasion,” said Membership Co-chair Lauren Regina.  “We are thrilled that we’ll still be able to support local organizations in a significant way during a time when they’re facing unprecedented challenges.”

About Impact 100

Impact100 South Jersey is a women’s collective giving initiative that strives to recruit at least 100 women who donate $1,000, intending to award at least one $100,000 Core Mission Grant to a local organization.  

Since launching in 2017, Impact100 South Jersey has awarded $274,000 in Core Missions grants to LUCY Outreach in Camden, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties and Hopeworks ‘N Camden.  

General Operating Grants totaling $141,000 have been awarded to Alice Paul Institute in Mt. Laurel, Family Promise of Southern NJ in Glassboro, Hispanic Family Center of Southern NJ and Ronald McDonald House of Southern NJ in Camden.  

In 2019, the organization also awarded an additional $9,360 to the South Jersey COVID Response Fund and Cathedral Kitchen in Camden.

Impact100 South Jersey is a Field of Interest Fund at the Community Foundation of South Jersey.

Impact100 is a global initiative that combines the financial resources, expertise and talents of women who want to be part of making transformative change in their own communities.  

There are dozens throughout the United States and several more in Australia.  

Bright Side Feature Stories

William Paterson University Adjunct Professor Named as N.J. Nurses New President

TRENTON, N.J.—Jan. 4, 2021— The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) welcomed Mary Ellen Levine, DNP, MSN, RN, CHPN, as its 48th president on New Year’s Day.

“These are challenging times for nurses, yet our primary role and mission remains clear—to advocate for the health and well-being of our patients and the public,” Levine said. “We are advocates, educators and leaders who promote health and proponents for system-wide improvements through policy reform, community-building and health promotion. I am honored to lead New Jersey’s nurses at this critical time. Now more than ever, the need for nurses has never been greater. I look forward to acting on key legislative matters and addressing the evolving needs of our society amid the coronavirus public health crisis.”

With more than 30 years of nursing experience in a variety of settings—acute care hospital, home care, school nursing and hospice care—Levine is an adjunct professor of community health and adult medical/surgical nursing at William Paterson University.

Levine has extensive experience teaching in the classroom, clinical experience and simulation lab for community health, fundamental and health assessment courses, as well as a healthcare ethics course.

Levine earned a doctorate in nursing practice from William Paterson University, a master’s degree in the science of nursing education from Walden University, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Dominican College and an associate degree in nursing from Bergen Community College.

She also earned a school nurse/health educator certificate from Caldwell College (now Caldwell University) and is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse through the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC).

Levine’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program project is titled, “Palliative Care Self-Competence: An Examination of Registered Nurses in the Acute Care Hospital During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  


NJSNA, established in 1901, is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association. 

The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) represents the interests of more than 140,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses as an advocate for the nursing profession.

NJSNA’s lobbying arm continues to protect the nursing profession through legislative victories.

Its nonprofit foundation, the Institute For Nursing, helps nurses further their careers by providing continuing education, scholarships and research grants, in addition to invaluable networking opportunities.

For more information, visit, contact NJSNA at, or call (609) 883-5335.

Bright Side Feature Stories

Leading Loyalty Marketing and Rewards Provider Contributes Hundreds of Pounds of Food

Margate, NJ (December 29, 2020) – Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) received a donation of an abundance of non-perishable foods, basic essentials and cleaning supplies from Rymax, a loyalty marketing and rewards provider based in Pine Brook, New Jersey.

Their generosity assures the JFS Food Pantry can continue to meet the increased demand perpetuated by the current economic environment.

Rymax’s heartfelt donation included hundreds of pounds of pasta, hearty soups, cereal, tuna, macaroni & cheese, vegetables, beverages and more. In addition to purchasing and donating pallets full of products, Rymax staff delivered directly to the pantry and helped unload the donation.

The company has worked with the Atlantic City hospitality/gaming industry for years providing comprehensive loyalty programs and rewards.

“We’ve been a supplier to the gaming industry for over 20 years,” said Eve Kolakowski, President of Rymax. “We know it is one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to give back to the community that has given us so much over the years. This donation will help our friends who have lost their jobs at the casinos, as well as other families who need additional support this holiday season.” Kolakowski continued, “Studies show that in the wake of COVID-19, the number of people who are food insecure in the United States could rise to more than 50 million, including 17 million children. When you read and hear about those staggering numbers, it’s heartbreaking and you know you have to act.”

Last May, Kolakowski and her team sent a similar shipment as the JFS Food Pantry.

That delivery included boxes and bags of pasta, jelly, snacks, vegetables, beverages, condiments and more which fed hundreds of community residents during the shelter at home order.

While the need for food is still escalating, contributions to the agency have slowed. Rymax’s support affords JFS with the opportunity to restock their shelves and assures no one will go hungry this winter season.

“At JFS, we are grateful for Rymax’s ongoing support,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS Chief Executive Officer. “Many people who have needed support have experienced job loss from the Atlantic City hospitality industry. By giving on a reoccurring basis, Eve and Rymax ensure our shelves can remain stocked and meet the increase demand into the future,” she added.

For more information about JFS programs, services or how you can get involved, contact 609.822.1108 or visit

Jewish Family Service volunteer Donna Levin helps sort and stack some of the hundreds of pounds of food donated by Rymax, a leading marketing and rewards provider, in Pine Brook, New Jersey.

The company graciously donated the non-perishable food and basic essentials to restock JFS’ Food Pantry which has experienced an increase in demand since mid-March.

This is the second contribution by Rymax who pledged to help JFS provide for community residents in need.

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities.

With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry.

The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life.

In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.