Serving Communities in New Jersey: The Work of Women and Families Ascending Association
By: Udochi Esomonu/Arab America Contributing Writer
According to the New Jersey Government Population and Labor Force Projections, the state of New Jersey is home to over 9.2 million residents, projecting an increase to 9.6 million by the year 2030. As a state which attracts many residents, the need for additional actors providing services has also increased, highlighting the important role that non-profit organizations play in filling the gap of service deliverance. Non-profit organizations are essential in maintaining a strong quality of life in the state of New Jersey.
Not only do non-profit organizations promote the social well-being of residents by providing resources, tools, and programs to New Jersey residents, but they play a prominent role in the preservation and strengthening of residents’ economic well being. Overall, non-profit organizations are present to make the world a better place by serving and providing for various communities.
According to the IRS Business Master File of Exempt Organizations as of 2018, there were more than 34,000 registered 501(c)3 non-profit organizations in the state of New Jersey. Of those 34,000, there is one that continues to particularly stand out and makes a significant difference from its origin in the Paterson/Wayne area throughout the entirety of the state: The Work of Women and Families Ascending Association, commonly and colloquially referred to as WAFAA.
In 2010, Wafaa Saad, with over 25 years of experience with providing mental health and domestic violence services, saw the need for resources and support in the Paterson/Wayne community and founded The Women and Families Ascending Association (WAFAA).
WAFAA is a New Jersey-based non-profit organization whose mission is to “strengthen families and the community through education in order to reduce isolation, build connections within and between families, and throughout the community.” The organization fulfills its mission by providing various confidential social programs to families and/or individuals and such services are in the following two fields: health and treatment services, and community services.
Within health and treatment services, WAFAA provides behavioral and mental health services including a 24/7 crisis hotline, anger management therapy, and crisis intervention therapy. Within community services, WAFAA provides legal, economic, and residential assistance including a weekly food pantry, shelter and residential living assistance, immigration paperwork, notary public, referrals for assistance, bill and insurance assistance, and gift card drives.
The work that WAFAA does has touched many lives, as client Donna Ivery said: “I’m glad WAFAA was in my community.” Due to its success in providing for those in need, Wafaa Saad, Executive Director, has been recognized for her positive impact by the Universal Peace Federation, former Governor Chris Christie, and Passaic County, to name a few.
The work that WAFAA does in the state of New Jersey is now more necessary than ever as individuals and families find themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic According to NorthJersey.com, more than 850,000 New Jersey workers have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As unemployment increases, residents have found themselves lacking income thus increasing their inability to access social, health, and economic resources that they were once able to access.
WAFAA understands the magnitude of change that the COVID-19 global pandemic has had on the lives of many, and in a normal fashion, they are working tirelessly 24/7 to provide essential resources and tools to New Jersey residents in need. From the organization’s assisted living program to its gift card drive, residents in need during this global pandemic are guaranteed a helping hand at WAFAA.
WAFAA, in addition to providing resources to those in need, prides itself in its dedication to inspiring and training the new generation of community servants through its volunteer and internship program. The volunteer and internship program targets the talents of individuals, from high school students to college students to adults who are driven and are passionate about the mission of WAFAA and the overall need to provide resources to New Jersey residents in need.
It’s the dedication and involvement of volunteers and interns that maintains the ability for WAFAA to serve communities in the way that it has been doing for the past ten years. If you too are passionate about WAFAA’s mission and the work that it does, consider visiting their website: http://www.wafaaorganization.org/ to learn more about how you and others who are interested can get involved.
Individuals can reach out to WAFAA 24 hours 7 days a week.
To contact by phone, call: 973-766-2406, 201-925-1299, or 973-766-3765.
To contact by email, send email to email@example.com
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