Community Police and Fire South Orange

South Orange Rescue Squad Gets $17K Donation for New Ambulance

The South Orange Rescue Squad has provided free emergency medical care to the residents of South Orange, Maplewood and the surrounding communities since 1952, but when one of their ambulances recently began to have mechanical issues… the prognosis was not good.

Without a brand new engine– at a cost of $17,000– the ambulance would have to be put out of service.

In stepped The Aspiring Kindness Foundation with a grant of $17,000, and the ambulance was soon repaired and back on the road responding to 911 calls and transporting members of the community to the hospital.

SORS Captain Scott Egelberg says that they feel very fortunate that the foundation chose to help get their ambulance back up and running.  “We are very thankful to Aspiring Kindness for their contributions, not just to us, but to our entire community.  The work they do is extremely beneficial to the residents of South Orange and Maplewood”.    

The sentiment was echoed by SORS President Troy Balog. “Without our ambulance on the road, we can’t save lives. Aspiring Kindness has truly advanced our organization and made South Orange and the surrounding communities a safer place with this incredible gift”.   

Aspiring Kindness has a unique connection to the South Orange community and its first responders and public safety agencies. On January 19, 2000, tragedy struck Seton Hall University when one of the deadliest college fires in U.S. history injured more than 60 people and took the lives of 3 students: Aaron Karol, Frank Caltabilota, John Giunta.  

A group of Aaron Karol’s childhood friends were determined to make something positive come from the tragedy.  In 2010, they founded The Aspiring Kindness Foundation and named it in honor of their friend Aaron Karol, one of the victims. They established the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit to provide financial assistance to support and enhance the abilities of emergency responders and service providers.

Previous donations have previously helped the Rescue Squad as well as spanned the community.  The foundation has raised more than $200,000 and made 17 grants totaling ~$135,000 to Saint Barnabas Burn Center, the South Orange Fire Department, Blood Center of NJ, Seton Hall University and numerous additional organizations.

This past weekend the South Orange Rescue Squad invited some of the board members of Aspiring Kindness to stop by the Rescue Squad headquarters on Sloan Street to say thank you, and to show them the newly-repaired ambulance. 

It now carries the Aspiring Kindness logo on the side as an expression of thanks, and a reminder to the community of the amazing organization that has enabled it to keep rolling out the door as soon as the 911 call comes in.

Jason Tarantino, Foundation President said “We are extremely proud to make this grant that fosters our mission to make an impact on the First Responders and local communities.  This continues the foundation’s positive momentum to make tangible contributions across the Tri-State area.”

The Aspiring Kindness Foundation is hosting their 6th Annual Golf Outing at The Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield, NJ on Monday June 18th.  Please visit Please visit their event webpage for full details at www.golf.aspiringkindness.org

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