“It’s rather eye-opening and allows us to see poverty not as an abstract social problem, but as the human misfortune it is.”


Christian Agathis, Staff Writer

Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).  Bridges, a non-profit organization, gives gifts to the less fortunate and homeless people of impoverished areas in New Jersey and New York, making “runs” to distribute food and necessities. The ten students from Delbarton and Kent Place who participate always have extremely rewarding experiences; any student at Delbarton is eligible to take part in the program. Three distributions take place every week and the group has three primary locations on designated days: Manhattan on Fridays, Newark, New Jersey on Saturdays, and Irvington, New Jersey on Sundays. Mr. Diffley, the moderator, finds Bridges beneficial to those who receive, and humbling for those who give.

Mr. Diffley explains, “For the people coming to us, it is rather obvious they enjoy the opportunity to be treated as individuals with dignity. For those of us handing out supplies, it’s rather eye-opening and allows us to see poverty not as an abstract social problem, but as the human misfortune it is.” Indeed, the volunteers are rewarded with smiling faces and a warm feeling inside. Unfortunately, Mr. Diffley also reveals that “most people walking around the streets of New York or other major cities, or even here in Morristown, ignore the homeless.” Bridges helps raise awareness for those in need, and rather than shying away from the challenge of helping so many less fortunate people, they face the problem head on. “Bridges’ motto is ‘Bringing the housed and homeless together in community’ and really explains the larger goal of the organization.”

What Bridges distributes may seem small to us, but can be life-changing to those who need it. The people who participate in Bridges are truly performing the acts of God. For more information, check out Contact Mr. Diffley if you’re interested in taking place in this rewarding excursion.


Questions & Answers about Bridges:

Q: How often are the distributions?

A: Bridges as a non-profit organization does three distributions a week, every week.  On Fridays, they go to Manhattan; on Saturdays, they go to Newark; and on Sundays, they go to Irvington.  Many schools and businesses volunteer to go on these “Runs” as they’re called.  Delbarton partners with Kent Place School to go on three runs a school year.

Q: When is the next distribution, if it’s scheduled?

A: The next run is on Friday, January 20th.

Q: How is Bridges beneficial to both the people who receive and distribute?

A: Obviously, the food and clothing help those less fortunate than ourselves in a real way, but the bigger impact is harder to quantify.  Bridges’ motto is “Bringing the housed and homeless together in community” and really explains the larger goal of the organization.  Unfortunately, the homeless are often not treated as people or individuals. When our students go on runs, they not only distribute food and clothing, but also talk with and get to know those they are serving.

Q: About how many students participate?

A: On a typical run, we’ll have 4-6 students from Delbarton and 5-6 from Kent Place.

Q: What and where do people distribute?

A: Every run will have hot chocolate, soup, and bagged lunches for food, as far as clothing we always have some kind of clothing, even if it is only socks.  The clothing can depend on the weather and, obviously, depends a great deal on the donations bridges receives.  In cold weather, we typically hand out gloves, hats and scarves.  Occasionally, there’ll be coats, shoes and such.  Often we have T-Shirts and sweatshirts.