This article first ran on Dec. 9, 2019
From Rent Party’s Kids First:
Rent Party and the “SOMA School Supplies” group announced their partnership to expand their collective mission of addressing the needs of the South Orange and Maplewood communities.
Founded in 2009, the Rent Party organization helps to fight hunger in our community. Through their live monthly music events at the Woodland, large community garden at the South Orange Elks, and their BackPack Pals program, Rent Party supports local food pantries and weekend nutrition for food-insecure children in our school district.
The group that came to be known as “SOMA School Supplies” formed in 2015 with a mission of delivering filled backpacks to schools in our district for distribution to students in need. The primary goal has been to ensure that every child has the supplies required to build confidence for a successful school year. The original founder, Sharon Duberman Geraghty, worked tirelessly for the children in our district in many ways, including this drive. When Sharon passed away in 2017, the School Supplies team was determined to carry forth Sharon’s vision, not only to continue her initiative but to grow its impact each year.
With a mission that is aligned in serving our community, the formation of Rent Party’s Kids First extends outreach and sets the stage for greater expansion of programs.
“We are thrilled to welcome SOMA School Supplies to the Rent Party family,” said Rent Party founder Chris Dickson. “The work that they do aligns very nicely with our mission and we’re very excited about this partnership and the work we’ll be able to do together in this community,” added Dickson.
“Thanks to the generosity of our community and the admiration for Sharon’s initiative, our group has been able to deliver hundreds of filled backpacks to our schools,” said founding member, Jung Lee Masters. “Committee members of the former ‘SOMA School Supplies’ are delighted to partner with such an established and impactful organization. This alignment ensures greater possibilities and reach. In addition to backpacks and traditional supplies, we intend to expand on Sharon’s vision of providing technology needs for students, and thanks to our partnership with Rent Party, we can combine efforts to better serve those in need in our community. With continued support from our neighbors, friends, and local business owners, our goal is to raise funding and increase what we can deliver to ensure readiness in learning.”
With the 2020 new year fast approaching, Rent Party’s Kids First is excited for their upcoming official launch party and fundraiser on January 11, 2020 at the South Orange Elks. This will be an opportunity for people in the community to come together, learn more about their mission, and enjoy a great night of fun while raising money to fund this new joint venture. More details about the event will be announced soon.
Rent Party’s Kids First will soon be providing details and ticket sale links for the January 11th launch party as well as how you can make Rent Party’s Kids First part of your 2019 year-end charitable giving. Join their Facebook group page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/RentPartyKidsFirst/ to keep up with all the latest news.