Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Prom Dresses Needed for Annual Giveaway

prom dress giveaway


Project Self-Sufficiency is seeking donations of new and gently used formal wear, including prom dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, gowns for mothers-of-the-bride, evening bags, jewelry, wraps and shawls, as well as shoes in good condition for display in the agency’s annual “Sister-to-Sister” Prom Shop.  Dresses must be dry cleaned and on a hanger.  In the shop, which is housed on Project Self-Sufficiency’s Newton campus, gowns and accessories are displayed in a boutique-like setting, and teen girls are invited to select shoes, wraps and jewelry to complement their dress.  The Sister-to-Sister Prom Shop will be open during select dates in the spring.


“The community has been particularly supportive of the ‘Sister-to-Sister Prom Shop’ every year, and we are fortunate to have a large collection of beautiful gowns and accessories in our collection,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We believe that every young woman deserves the chance to have a beautiful dress for that special, once-in-a-lifetime event, and we are looking forward to opening the prom shop again this spring.”


Donations will be accepted at Project Self-Sufficiency, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton.  The Sister-to-Sister Prom Shop is a program of the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency.  For information about the Sister-to-Sister Prom Shop, or to find out more about any of the programs at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or visit

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences at January Workshop


adverse childhood experiences

Project Self-Sufficiency will continue the workshop and discussion series, “PACEs at PSS”, designed to facilitate the conversation about issues surrounding Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs), with a virtual session on Monday, January 24th at 5:00 p.m.  Participants are invited to explore the Connections Matter curriculum, a program funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and led by Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey designed to engage providers, parents, and community members in building caring connections to improve resiliency.  Discussion will focus on understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma and demonstrate how caring connections serve as a primary buffer in the negative effects of trauma.  The training is appropriate for parents and providers raising and teaching school aged children.


During the periodic PACEs at PSS workshops, trauma experts and guest speakers address the impact of adverse childhood experiences on social, emotional, and cognitive development, and offer tips and strategies for building resiliency.  Adverse childhood experiences are widely recognized as falling into three distinct categories, abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction.  Examples of negative behavior said to result from ACEs include smoking, alcoholism, drug use, absenteeism, and lack of physical activity.  These behaviors can cause a cascade of physical and mental health problems, from diabetes to cancer to suicidal thoughts.  It is estimated that approximately 67% of the population has experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.


The agency’s PACEs at PSS program brings together professionals, providers, and parents who are committed to increasing awareness of the impact of childhood trauma on juvenile development, future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.  “With the PACEs at PSS initiative, our goal is to help make our community a place in which every child can thrive by providing education and training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments,” explains Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. 


The Monday, January 24th PACEs at PSS session at Project Self-Sufficiency will be held via Zoom.  The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.   Call 973-940-3500 to register and receive log-in details.  Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street, Newton.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Learn about Divorce at Virtual Seminar


jessica sciara

Project Self-Sufficiency will host a virtual Family Law seminar on Thursday, January 20th, 6:00 p.m.  Participants will discuss child support, grounds for divorce, court procedures, alimony, parenting time, equitable distribution of assets, and other topics related to divorce with attorney Jessica Sciara.  The presentation, which will be offered through Zoom, is free and open to the public; interested attendees should call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 for log-in details.  The agency’s legal seminar series is a program of the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency and is funded by the New Jersey Department of Children & Families.