Nonprofit Profile: ONE Project, different faiths working together

From our print edition

By ROI-NJ Staff
Robbinsville | Nov 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

Origin

The organization was founded in 2014, when Dan Greco (a pastor at a local Christian church, Lifetree Community Church) and Amman Seehra were playing basketball together. “We talked about the work we did in our respective religious organizations, particularly the youth, and thought we would be better if we worked together,” Seehra said. “We met up for lunch and, three hours later, we had the idea for the ONE Project — a place where people from different faiths can work together to serve the community.”

Mission

Our mission is: Work as ONE to make a difference.

Vision: Faith and community members will work together to efficiently and effectively address social needs through education and volunteerism.

Goals 

  1. Facilitate interfaith dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and respect for differences.
  2. Create opportunities to unite the community to address its needs.
  3. Empower and inspire a network of passionate adult and youth leaders.
  4. Pool the community’s resources to make a greater impact.

In 2018, we are working to develop an infrastructure to promote volunteerism throughout every township in Mercer County and beyond. The Scholars Program is one part and the development of our relationship with religious organizations throughout the state is another component. We are also looking to develop a community service program to address the issue and victims of drug abuse in the community.

Programs

Our biggest event is the annual Hunger Project. This year, we brought together over 1,100 community volunteers and packaged over 100,000 meals for hungry kids in New Jersey. Volunteers packaged ingredients for a lentil casserole meal created by nutritionists at Feeding Children Everywhere. This meal, which consists of lentils, rice, dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt, is nutritious, nonperishable and, best of all, only 25 cents per meal.

The ONE Project team raised the money for the meals through the help of over 50 local businesses, community organizations and many generous individuals. The meals were donated to Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and will be distributed throughout New Jersey. These meals will specifically target summer feeding sites and the “Send Hunger Packing” program, which is part of Feeding America’s national BackPack Program. Both of these programs are designed to target low-income children in Mercer County who struggle to afford food when they are out of school.

All our events are meant to ease access to volunteer events by making them fun, entertaining, high-energy and family friendly. Also, we vet all our partners to make sure that donations are being used efficiently.

Achievements

We have started our Scholars Program, which will give a high school senior from all the public schools in Mercer County a scholarship. As part of the scholarship, each scholar is required to create, design and execute a community service project. We will provide the support to make each project professional and effective. We also have a Leadership Series to develop these students throughout the year, focusing on communication skills, leadership skills and self-discovery.

We are also working on a community feeding, in partnership with other religious groups, to provide Thanksgiving dinners to people in the Trenton community.

Fundraising

We raise money through sponsorship and donations from local small business. Most businesses are looking for direct, simple ways to better our community, and we tap that market.

Benefactors

Most of the businesses are local places that believe in giving back to the community. They have either heard of the ONE Project or participated at the Hunger Project and wanted to contribute. Most of our fundraising is through word of mouth and experiencing our events.

Our biggest donors include: Arora & Associates, ERA Central Realty Group, Five Rivers Information Technology, Hamilton Honda, Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst, & Doukas LLP, PARS Environmental, Sharbell Development Corp., Titan Mechanical, TriCore and US Taxes Inc.

Finally

The Google “One Today” app used to feature five nonprofits every day. We reviewed that app every day for a few months until we came across Feeding Children Everywhere from Orlando, Florida. We contacted them, ran an idea by the board, and the NJ Hunger Project — which was our inaugural and biggest event — was born.

Where: 19 Sven Drive, Robbinsville
Serving: Primarily Mercer County
Co-founders: Amman Seehra, Fizza Seehra, Kiran Gill and Dan Greco
Key members: Dave Doran, Jay Modi, Kelly Crisci