Long Beach Township Police Give the Gift of Warmth, and Facial Hair, This Winter

Nov 14, 2018
Supplied Photo SWEET CHARITY: (left to right) Sgt. Gary Gore, Patrolman Matt Vereb and Patrolman Sean Ferguson are among township law enforcement officers participating in two local projects aimed at raising awareness and money.

Police officers in Long Beach Township are taking part in two important charitable projects this winter: No Shave November, a month-long event during which participants forgo shaving to raise cancer awareness and donations, and Gift of Warmth, St. Francis Community Center’s annual effort to provide hundreds of families with essential items such as coats, gloves, boots and bedding.

“We are hitting the ground running, to raise money and awareness, and spread hope to men facing cancer diagnoses,” pba373.org notes in regard to the shave-less November initiative. All the Island police departments are involved, said LBT Community Policing Officer Megan Keller, and the township is “very excited to participate.” She also gave a nod to LBT Police Chief Anthony Deely for his guidance.

To donate to the cause, visit pba373.org or facebook.com/LBTPBA373, or text ShaveTheDate107 to 71777. Checks – with “No Shave November” in the memo – can also be mailed to LBT PBA 373, P.O. Box 2315, Long Beach Township, N.J. 08008. All donations support local cancer foundations.

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, No Shave November participants – and supporters – can attend “Shave the Date” at The Arlington, in Ship Bottom. From 4 to 9 p.m., Ryan’s Barber Shop and Shave Parlor in Linwood, and Carmelo’s in Manahawkin, will conduct the ceremonial buzzes and trims of the altruistic facial hair.

And soon, a Christmas tree will be installed in the lobby of the township police department, as in each holiday season. This year, though, the tree will be hung with gift tags connected to the Gift of Warmth project, organized each winter by the Human Concerns Department at the St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach. Every gift tag hanging on the tree corresponds to a child’s wish for an item of necessity.

Keller said she noticed a tree in Scojo’s Restaurant last year, and thought, “What a great idea!” She asked Deely about placing one in the police department this winter and got the go-ahead.

St. Francis places trees in its community center lobby and in the church, both in Brant Beach. Additional tree locations this year include Scojo’s in Surf City and Murphy’s Market in Beach Haven, as well as other businesses and a few doctors’ offices, the full list of which St. Francis is currently finalizing. All trees are set to go up the week of Thanksgiving.

Anyone who can afford to give to the Gift of Warmth, which serves hundreds of families within the community, is encouraged to visit the LBT Police Department or any of the other local tree locations. Select one or more tags, purchase the items requested and return the new, unwrapped items to the community center by Dec. 7. Distribution is scheduled for Dec. 12 and 13.

Monetary donations and gift cards are also accepted, and may be mailed to: St. Francis Center, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach Township, N.J. 08008, or dropped off at the front desk of the community center.

For more information about Gift of Warmth, call the community center at 609-494-8861 or visit stfranciscenterlbi.org.  —J.K.-H.

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