SBACNJ & Professional Women in Building Council Honored by Local Youth Services Organization
Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey (SBACNJ) and its Professional Women in Building of the Garden State (PWBGS) council were humbled to be honored at the Collier Youth Services’ Summer Social event on Thursday, June 9th at the organization’s picturesque campus in Wickatunk, New Jersey for the Association’s long-time support of the organization and the Youth Group Home in Red Bank. SBACNJ President, James Pittenger, SBACNJ Executive Director, Gina McNamara, and many of the PWBGS leadership members were present to accept the honor. Many members of the PWBGS have provided mentoring for the residents, and SBACNJ members as well donated time, labor, and materials to renovate the group home’s bathroom. The true honor is the knowledge that youngsters, and especially young women, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, are thriving and have promising futures because of the programs and support provided by Collier Youth Services.
According to SBACNJ President James Pittenger, “We would like to thank Collier Youth Services for this recognition, as well as our members and sponsors who were instrumental in helping us achieve this honor.” Since the PWBGS was founded in 2016 the council has been active in partnering with local organizations, Collier Youth Services as one of the first community outreach initiatives, supported by its members. With monthly group home mentoring sessions, holiday gift donation drives, as well as meeting other needs the group home residents have, including the bathroom renovation, which began just before the pandemic, and was completed during that time. The renovation was challenging for both SBACNJ members, and the residents of the group home in many ways, mostly exacerbated by the pandemic lock-downs and material shortages. Through perseverance, teamwork, and incredible communication between Collier Youth Services and SBACNJ, the bathroom renovation was completed and is now known as “the spa” to the group home residents.
Pittenger explains, “Even though we had challenges with materials, labor, and working throughout the pandemic with safety and health guidelines, it was our goal to finish the bathroom renovation as quickly as possible during that time so that the residents could experience a luxury they may not normally be able to enjoy, as well as to help with something as simple as enough showers and bathroom stalls to accommodate the number of young women who reside in the home. Our partnership with the Collier Youth Services has many layers and will continue as long as there is a need, and we are able to meet those needs.” In addition to the bathroom renovation, the PWBGS has provided mentoring services, and meet with the residents of the group home on a monthly basis to educate the residents about career opportunities within the home building industry and share personal stories of set-backs and success. “Our PWBGS members who participate in mentoring sessions with the residents of the Collier Youth Group Home have all agreed that they get more from these sessions than they give. The willingness of the girls who are able to join the mentoring sessions to listen, ask questions, and actively participate in these discussions has been a tremendous part of the overall PWBGS experience,” according to Gina McNamara.
With the holidays approaching, the focus of the PWBGS is to promote its “Cash for Collier” donation drive, which provides a cash donation to the Collier Youth Group Home for purchase of holiday gifts for the residents. The money collected goes a long way to bring holiday cheer to the girls who may otherwise not know the true spirit of the holidays. McNamara continues, “By starting our holiday donation drive in the summer, we have several Association events where we promote this initiative, and our members always answer the call to generously donate to this fund. It is truly an Association -wide effort and we appreciate our members’ participation each year. While it is wonderful to be recognized for these efforts, our PWBGS and Association feel strongly about giving back to the communities we serve, and Collier Youth Services is deserving of these efforts for the work they do for the youth in Monmouth County.”
For information on Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey, or to learn more about the Professional Women in Building of the Garden State please visit www.shorebuilders.org or contact the office at 732-364-2828.