Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More on What We Collect/Need

Someone recently asked Peaches what we collect besides baby stuff. Here's her answer:
We collect just about anything that is usable. If you would use it chances are if its in good shape and is no longer needed, someone else could use it also. We are always in search of donations of:

1) Clothing for all ages (Men, Woman, Children and Babies) in every size and season that exists.

2) Household items for those that have little or none and would never be able to buy them on their own.

3) Money to continue to be able to help others, including buying gas so we can deliver these donated items.

4) Blankets to keep those with little heat, money or even no home, warm.

5) New and Used Toys to brighten the face of a child that often has little to smile about.

6) Personal hygiene items for those that can not afford to go buy their own.

7) Shoes that are in GOOD shape for those that need new ones.

8) Suitcases with wheels for those that live in in temporary homes so we can help them fill them before they move to the next place~~Also for people with no place to live so they are able to transport the few items they do manage to get.

9) All baby items so that babies that would have nothing without help can have what they need. All furniture type baby items are checked for recalls prior to being distributed. If an item as been recalled it is discarded.

10) Furniture in good shape for people that have little or sometimes none at all.

11) Food so the hungry are fed.

12) Coats, Gloves, Hats and Scarfs to help keep those that go out in, and also those that live outside in the cold, warm.

13) Movies, Games and Puzzles with all of the pieces for safe houses and temporary houses, along with those we are lucky enough to be able to supply with a way to view them.

14) Pet food so that the people that can not afford to feed the pets they love do not have to even think about surrendering them to a shelter knowing the likely outcome.

Truth is, we collect everything one could need or would like to have ranging from clocks to socks and organize it all into "who needs what" boxes. We then deliver it to those in need for free. Of course we only succeed with the help of others so please help us make the world a little brighter for others. If you can help, we are happy to arrange a pickup. Thank you for your generosity.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Thank You's...from us and to us..

More of why we do what we do -

First and Foremost,
we need to thank the muscle behind the movement ...the men that are often called on to move an unexpected heavy item; to make room in their homes or their work place for just one more thing. The same individuals that can no longer walk in the dark in their home without fear of falling over that one box that needs to be delivered or the bag that just got dropped off. The men that find themselves not really sure how they got involved in this whirlwind of pick ups and drop offs but do it just the same and usually manage to muster up something other than a frown while they help out. Thank you Jack, Vince, Thomas and Tim for all of the effort and help.

Our heartfelt thanks
to: We need to thank Carol from Franklinville for numerous donations of both new and practically new items that have helped many families; the Wade family for sharing Christmas with many that would never have had a single gift without their act of kindness. The Wade's and Kelly Miller understand the true meaning of Christmas lives in the spirit of giving Christmas to another who would not have had a reason to celebrate without their assistance . For this we thank them all. We also need to thank everyone that has donated to us , spread our word and worked to make not just Christmas but EVERYDAY a little easier for another.

Thanks to us : Thank you to Father John Bellezza , Pat Rodriguez , Susan , REYS OF HOPE
Thank you to Father John Bellezza , Pat Rodriguez , Susan , Ruth and Peaches from REYS OF HOPE. Thank you for all the clothes and other things and everything they help with. James

Thank you soo much...
Thank you to Father John Bellezza , Pat Rodriguez , Susan , Ruth and Peaches from REYS OF HOPE. For all your help in giving my children a hope for a Christmas this year. Jen

Thanks Pat Rodriguez
Thank you so much for all the clothes, you really helped my friend in need. She was so happy she didn't have to worry about winter coming around the corner. Thank you so very much! God bless! Laura

Thanks to you and the Reys of Hope, my children and I had a wonderful Christmas; not only did we have presents to open, a beautifully decorated tree, but we got to finish the day with a hearty meal and we only have all of you to thank. I explained to the kids that there wouldn't be that many presents to open this year but if you could only have seen their faces in the morning when they saw all the presents under the tree. Your organization really fulfilled my dream this year when I am truly going through allot of financial difficulties and a hard separation. I just have been put on disability due to mental stress and I have to spend all my time and effort trying to save my house and focusing on me and my children's mental states through counseling services and prayer. So thanks so much for all you have done for us and thanks for keeping our faith and letting us know that there are still people out there that truly care. I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Lots of love and thanks so much to you.

Thanks so much for your help through the Holiday. My kids loved the toys. The clothing was very nice and warm for the children. My family was really thankful for everything. Thanks for taking the time and effort to make our Christmas come true. Times are really tough right now and the food alone cost so much that there would be very little under the tree but with your help we did it. The car seat was awesome. Thanks for dropping that off for me so quickly. And my baby boy loves the exer-saucer. He plays in there forever I have to take him out to roll around on the floor.

You are a great person and God will bless you for your thoughtfulness and giving. I hope your Christmas was great! I hope we can still keep in touch. I enjoyed talking to you. Have a safe New Year! Thanks again, The Nelson Family

My children had a Wonderful Christmas this year and it was all because of Reys of Hope. They would have had nothing from Santa this year. I do not know how to thank you. But I hope that you will except mine and my husband’s many thanks for helping us. We appreciate everything that has been done for us. Thank You and God Bless All. Dana and family

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Pictures of Us at Work

These pictures were taken just before Pat and Fr. John arrived to pick up some of the Christmas gear we were putting together.

That's our mascot and quality control officer, Shelby. She's mostly around for the treats.

The next two pictures are me and Ruth showing off our handiwork for the kids.

As soon as I get the digital picture of Fr. John and Pat at Siemens Co. it will be posted here. They made a wonderful Christmas for one of our families and we can't thank them enough for their generosity.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

This is What Makes This ALL Worthwhile

Some thank you's from several of our families -

"This year my family and I would not have seen any thing underneath the Christmas tree if it weren't for the Reys of Hope. They gave me clothes for my children, food for Christmas dinner, and toys for my children to open Christmas morning as well as loads of Christmas decorations and curtains and sheets which i really needed by the way and I would like to say thank you to all those who have helped as I said before there would have been no Christmas if it weren't for you. God bless all of you and I hope you all have a blessed New Year."

"Thank you soo much for all the great things you gave me for the children for Christmas. My son as well as Nicky and Cameron really enjoyed opening everything. "

"Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all that Reys of Hope has done for my friend Jen. With out their help her four children wouldn't have had much of a Christmas. They gave everything from toys to clothes that were much need. Jen's 6 year old son said " This is the best day of my life". I have spread the news on how much Reys of Hope has helped and encourage anyone who is getting rid of toys or clothes to donate to them. Thank you all again, you have made a single mom and her children very happy. God Bless.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


We strive to provide "gently used" and new items when we can. We thoroughly wash, inspect and sort our donated items to make sure they're not some old rags someone couldn't toss in the trash. We do this to be able to keep the circle of giving moving by "paying it forward" which means if it does not suit you or is no longer of use to you that you contact us and we will pick it up for someone else that may be able to use it.


Thank you for understanding. We are a small, small organization and most of our expenses, including the cost of our gas and truck are borne by us. Many of the new items we provide are purchased by our volunteers and family and friends who want to be a part of this process.

Enough of this. The next post will include the "thank yous" from those families whom we were able to truly help. That's what makes this all worthwhile!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

Another success for us!! On Friday, Fr. John and Pat accompanied an "in need family" to the Siemens company in Trenton where a tree was donated to the family. In addition, the company gifted the family of seven with a Christmas check. This gracious gift was arranged by Reys of Hope who also delivered clothes and gifts to accompany the tree. We are small but mighty!!

Yesterday Ruth and I went to Fr. John's to drop off more donations. Pat and Fr.'s daughter were busy wrapping a multitude of gifts for the families we help. In addition to toys and clothes, each child will receive 7 books - one for each day of the week (that Peaches thinks of everything!). Ruth and I left to deliver a turkey Pat continued to wrap, Fr. John and his daughter went out to buy some additional items for the kids.

We also had another bittersweet triumph yesterday. We were able to purchase an absolutely, touchingly, beautiful grave marker for a baby girl whose family had been unable to afford one. They picked it up yesterday after we left - Pat said it was a very emotional moment.

Today the dropoffs begin. The weather hasn't been in our favor , just this morning when my husband and I took the mascot out - our driveway was like a skating rink - covered with black ice. Our vehicles are encrusted - very sparkly and icy and oh, so slippery. We'd be better off with a sleigh!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Christmas Preparations

Yesterday, Fr. John, Pat, Ruth and myself met to load up more gear for our families - Ruth brought mittens, gloves, socks, coloring books, crayons and notepads which she purchased to be included with the other gifts for the kids. Ruth and I worked on the flannel pants and this week we handed over 11 pair, plus I made some Christmas outfits for little girls - so some will have a new outfit to wear for the holiday. I spent hours in my sewing room - I wish I had a few experienced sewing ladies to help - we could really turn out some stuff. Fr. John and I purchased the flannel and the little outfits came from my never ending stash of fabric. Fr. John and Pat left my house with a full truck of toys, baby clothes, stuffed animals, blankets, afghans and more, donated by very generous folks. They also brought us a thank you letter from a young mother we recently helped. Peaches has been working around the clock to sort, box, wrap and prepare the deliveries for the families we are helping. Pat and John have been driving all over the county picking up goods and dropping off. It is a never ending and rewarding experience. If you wish to help, please email us at Look for some pictures of me and Ruth showing off the goods. We'll also have a surprise picture of our mascot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Christmas Preparations

We're currently working on gathering items for our families in need and trying to make their Christmas a little bit brighter. We've collected toys and warm clothes for infants and children up to size 7 - we still need much more - we just picked up a family with 5 children - several of whom are older kids - so the hunt continues. We had some turkeys donated by the Methodist Church in New Egypt. We found homes for them and Peaches will take the last one to cook for the homeless after Christmas when they've been all but forgotten. She'll prepare sandwiches and make goody bags with crackers and juice etc - to be handed out. I made lots of little flannel play pants to help keep kids warm - many times children in safe houses and shelters come in with only the clothes on their backs. So we find ways to help make them comfortable. If you can donate please contact us at - if you have the luxury of a few bucks to spare please mail to us at the address on the blog page lower left.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Important Links

This link will take you to the State of NJ Website and provide the County Name, Address and phone/fax numbers of the Social Service Agencies in each county in New Jersey.

State of New Jersey Department of Human Services

These links will take you directly to the organizations listed below.

Social Security

Burlington County Dept. of Military and Veterans Services

Department of Veteran Affairs

State of New Jersey

Contact Crisis hot-line

Burlington County Community Action Program

Donations Needed - Please Help if You Can

During these hard economic times it isn't easy to ask for donations of money. But this is also the season of giving and there are those who truly need a helping hand. We recently received a request to help 2 single moms who were burned out of their home and lost EVERYTHING. These women are the mothers of an infant and two very young children. It's at times like this when it would be extremely helpful to have some money to purchase some of the basics for them - things they need immediately and we don't have in our inventory of donated items. Monetary donations are also needed for our shelter children so they too can be warm and fed this holiday season.

We are a Federal and State recognized NON-PROFIT CHARITY. If you are able to make a donation, please make your check payable to Holy Angels Children's Society and reference Reys of Hope on it so we can account for it properly. Please mail your check to HOLY ANGELS CHILDRENS SOCIETY, P.O. Box 2142, Southampton, NJ 08088. We will promptly send you a tax deductible receipt.

Of course, any donations of household items, baby items, gently used clothing, coats, blankets, etc. are greatly appreciated and put to immediate use. Please email to schedule a pick up. Thank you for your continued support and consideration.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Successes

From Peaches -

Here are some profiles of those that were helped in the last 2 and half of 11/25/08

Living in Burlington County--A high risk young pregnant mom living in a safe house with her daughter…she has thus far been given size 5x/6x clothes and coat for her daughter along with a toddler car seat and toys. She has also been given for her baby daughter due in Jan but expected earlier clothing, a crib, stroller, car seat, tub and baby swing. She is a person we continue to help as needed….and is on-going.

Salem County…near Parvin State park…more than an hour away
A foster mom who takes in medically challenged children to raise, adopt and add to her existing family. She had to recently purchase a newer trailer so that she would be able to adopt her foster child. She has thus far received baby boy clothes in size 6-12 m, a travel swing and baby saucer. She will receive within the week, additional size 12 month clothes for him along with size 0-6 months for the newborn baby girl she will be fostering effective today (the last Tuesday of November) . She will also receive a car seat for the newest baby to join the household. In addition to those items she has also received size 4 clothing for the son she has adopted and some toys that were bright and appropriate for an autistic child. The 2 older girls each received sheets for their beds along with a blanket for each of their beds. The mom of the household received an afghan to use on top of hers. THEY ALSO RECEIVED A BOX OF CHRISTMAS GITS TO HELP WITH THEIR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION


Salem County

Adult female in need of clothing will receive this week Lady Size 1 / XL clothing

Burlington County Homeless Disabled dad with 2 little girls recently moved from a motel then finally into temporary housing. The few clothing items they had were not appropriate for winter. Bag of warm clothes given to him along with 2 wheeled suitcases full of clothes and toys for each of the girls. Girls clothes 5/6 and 7/8

Burlington County couple this is a hard working couple that are having difficulty keeping up with their bills and the needs of their ever growing children. Gave clothing to both the adults since her clothing no longer fit properly and her husband always put himself last which limited the clothing he had. They in return donated some items that no longer fit. Also supplied theri 4 children with the following items: One son clothing size 7 and a few toys , another son size 3 clothing and a small play table with 2 chairs, baby son size 6-12 month clothes , Daughter clothing size 6 and a Dora bed frame for the crib mattress she sleeps. They also each received a blanket. THEY ALSO RECEIVED A BOX OF CHRISTMAS GITS TO HELP WITH THEIR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION


Burlington County Single mom some clothes size 7 for her son clothes size 4 and toddler size blankets. A toddler car seat will be dropped to her this week. Nephew she cares for size 6-12 months, saucer, crib blankets plus THEY ALSO RECEIVED A BOX OF CHRISTMAS GITS TO HELP WITH THEIR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION


Burlington County Homeless family finally found a rental they could afford now that Mr has been able to find work. 2X /24 clothes for Mrs, L/XL clothes for him with an emphasis on warm outerwear as he waits for bus to go to work, Size 5 clothing for their son , toys including a bike and a twin size blow up mattress with sheets and blankets so he has a place to sleep. Teen daughter clothing in woman's 7/8, medium clothing. They are also being given some household items as they become available…dishes, lamps, blankets, towels, etc

Burlington County couple hanging on with difficulty in need of clothes

They will receive within the next 2 days.

Clothing for her in womans size 18/ L, Mr will receive 30x30 , medium clothing . Their son size 8 and daughter size 7 ….they still need more then we have available and those items will be dropped as we get them. THEY ALSO RECEIVED A BOX OF LIMITED CHRISTMAS GITS TO HELP WITH THEIR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

Burlington County newly singled Mrs who is raising seven kids. They will receive before Saturday

For her coat size L and clothes 14/xl , her Toddler daughter size 3 clothing including a snowsuit.

Boys in house clothing size 12, 14 and older boy Mens Xl and 36 x32, Two older preteen girls one womans size 3/4 and medium. The other one is in womans 5/6 . They still need more then we have available and those items will be dropped as we get them. THEY ALSO RECEIVED A BOX OF CHRISTMAS GITS TO HELP WITH THEIR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION


Burlington County Baby Emily some clothes, boppy, car seat, walker


Salem County woman with disabled son scheduled to receive this Saturday-

Unfortunately have no clothes that fit her at this time 3x/28 though did get a coat for her. Daughter size 7 clothes. Son pre teen clothing size mens Ltop, m or size 28 X34 bottom. Son clothing size 8. Niece clothing size 3/ 4 med. Niece clothing size 5/6 large. Twin baby girl and boy clothing size 6-12 m one of each of the following car seat, hi-chair, saucer, swing. THEY ALSO RECEIVED A BOX OF LIMITED AMOUNTS OF CHRISTMAS GITS TO HELP WITH THEIR HOLIDAY CELEBRATION


Burlington county mom of 6 ---needed size 5t clothes and shoes for her son. Also gave then a few blankets along with baby clothes and baby supplies for her pregnant daughter….the supplies included a crib, stroller, car seat, travel swing blankets and saucer


Burlington County Mom needed Clothes for growing son in size 12-18 m , baby saucer and toys


Cumberland County high risk pregnant with baby girl clothes 0-6m , car seat and baby saucer

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Who We Are/What We Do

We are a small group of women and one determined priest. We also get help from our respective family members. All of us are unpaid volunteers. We purchase very little - relying mostly on items donated by people in our neighborhoods who want to help. Considering our small size, we have had a major impact on those in need.

We help battered women, young pregnant mothers, foster moms and their kids. We also help families and Dads raising their children - the homeless - . We've provided cribs, strollers, bouncers, nursery supplies as well as beds, dressers, clothes, kitchen items and much more to those who need them. We are always collecting blankets which we donate to the homeless on the street. At Christmas, we hand out gifts for children - all purchased by one of volunteers. We will be posting some of our success stories in the near future.

This section was written by Peaches - the woman who spearheaded this project and for several years did this work alone - until it snowballed and she recruited her sister, Pat who recruited me, who recruited Ruth and who met Father John who helped us legitimize our work and create this small but powerful organization.

As the person who one day asked my sister Pat for assistance in finding items for one baby in need, I am so very proud of each and every one of the people that have come together to form this much needed organization. We have been able to help many more people then even our dedicated volunteers may realize. For example, I am not the only person delivering these gathered items on to the people that need them. Yet I alone have dropped off clothes (usually a weeks worth per person) including coats and shoes to more the 50 people in slightly more then two months time. I have also hand delivered housewares and blankets to those that had none. In just the last month, Christmas gifts have been supplied for every member in six different families. There have also been other items given as needed: such as a car seat to bring a baby home from the hospital, and a bed so a little girl no longer had to sleep on the floor; warm clothes to keep a homeless man warm as the winter weather set in and coats, hats and gloves to others that had to wait for the bus to get to work or to an education. These are just some of many examples but the truth is the same---If not for the donations that others have given us and the hard work of everyone that has made this organization a success, this never would have been possible. Everyone (Pat, Ruth, Susan, Fr. John) take time to think about the fact that many people will not be cold today and each of you are the reason why. The individuals we have helped also have found comfort in knowing that when they asked for help they received some....who could ask for more then feeling that your needs mattered to another. Again thank you all and keep those donations coming as the need is as strong as ever.

How You Can Help

We can arrange to pick up any donations of household items and clothing. At this time of the year we especially need blankets and coats, gloves, snowsuits for kids. We always need baby items of any kind. Our philosophy is the "circle of giving" - when we help someone all we ask is that they pass on the items we give them when they no longer need them; hand down baby clothes and items, re-cycle household items to Goodwill or another family in need.

We are also trying to gather toys and other items to help make a Christmas Holiday for children that may otherwise have none. Please contact us if you wish or can donate an item for a child's Christmas. We can be reached via email - our address is, our mailing address is Holy Angels Children's Society, PO Box 2142, Southampton, NJ 08088.

Links to Social Services Agencies

This link will take you to the State of NJ Website and provide the County Name, Address and phone/fax numbers of the Social Service Agencies in each county in New Jersey.

State of New Jersey Department of Human Services

The county Social Service agencies provide lots of information and links to other sites that provide services - Nutrition Program, HealthCare and more. Burlington County alone had over one dozen links and then sub-links.

If what you are looking for is not to be found in the county links - we may be able to offer some help. We are in the process of collecting as much of the other important contact info - for Burlington, Camden, Ocean and Mercer Counties, ie St.Vincent De Paul, Catholic Charities and more. This list is comprehensive. I need to find a way to get the information up here quickly and efficiently - and am working on it now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How It All Began

The Reys of Hope Project began as a grass roots movement between two sisters. It all started about three years ago when one sister started to seriously make time to help the people in places many others were not willing to go. Blankets were handed out to the homeless, Christmas gifts were bought (at the sister's expense), wrapped and labeled for boys/girls and age appropriateness and distributed in Trenton during the holiday season. Word began to spread and more and more requests for help began pouring in. That's when she recruited her older sister to help in the effort. Pat began putting up handwritten notices requesting donations for the particular family's situation as identified by her sister. She connected with many kind and caring people and the collection and distribution process snowballed. One of those people is Father John Bellezza, an Orthodox Priest who runs a ministry named Holy Angels Children's Society. Holy Angels ministers in Pennsylvania, Haiti and now in New Jersey.

The Reys of Hope Project is now under the auspices of Holy Angels which is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity in the State of New Jersey.