2015 National Day of Action Recap

NJ RPCVs Christina Tedder and Sharon Keld met with Congressman Leonard Lance, (NJ-7) and delivered packets in the offices of other New Jersey Congresspersons on March 5th for Peace Corps National Day of Action.

Pictured: Sharon Keld, Christina Tedder, Congressman Leonard Lance, (NJ-7)

Pictured: Sharon Keld, Christina Tedder, Congressman Leonard Lance, (NJ-7)

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Brief report from Sharon Keld:

Snow meant that the government offices were closed, but 70 of the 100 RPCVs (one back just two weeks, and another who is not an RPCV yet but is applying!) who were scheduled to be in DC made it by 8 am.  Many of the appointments we had were cancelled (Booker’s office and Melendez’s office included) but we made the most of it in the House!
We dropped off packets in the offices of every other New Jersey Congresspersons. In some cases we found staffers in – had a great talk with Kate in Sires’s office (he’s pro-Peace Corps). My Congressman, Leonard Lance (NJ-7) was available, and since he had no appointments to rush off to, he spend half an hour with us! Our three asks were joining the Peace Corps caucus, supporting Peace Corps funding, and signing the “Dear Colleague” letter. We didn’t get any promises, but he didn’t say no!

Thanks for all of your great work encouraging support for Peace Corps!

Paintings from the Peace Corps Experience – Event Recap

An exhibit of oil and watercolor paintings by Nancie Gunkelman were the focus of attention at the Zimmerli art library, Rutgers campus, New Brunswick on Saturday, March 7th.

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The event was presented by Rutgers University in cooperation with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey. The exhibit took place as part of a celebration of National Peace Corps Week which commemorates the establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. While the exhibit is in place until March 28th, the reception on Saturday was widely attended by the public including library patrons and staff, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, family and friends.  Continue reading

Ethnic Dining Following Peace Corps Art Exhibit & Reception

Come join us after Peace Corps Art Exhibit & Reception to share a meal and stories. All RPCVs, their family members and future volunteers are welcome!

Saturday, March 7, 2015
4:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Harvest Moon Brewery
392 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ

RSVP on our Meetup page!

Advocacy Update: National Day of Action – March 5th!

On Thursday, March 5th, advocates will gather in Washington from all over the country to meet with legislators and urge their support for a variety of issues for the National Day of Action.

Read more!

RPCV-NJ Annual Meeting – March 28th

Twenty eight people (including 6 Board Members) attended the Annual Meeting in Bridgewater on March 28th. A thorough overview of what has been accomplished over the last year and what is planned for this coming year was provided, including information relative to all RPCV-NJ committees.

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An update on Peace Corps recruiting efforts was provided by Patrick McGettigan, PC Recruiter for South Jersey and Metro Philadelphia. He also brought us up to date on the new Peace Corps application process, answering multiple questions which was very informative.

Patrick also presented information on his experience in Mozambique (2011-13), added to by Greg Harris in the audience, also a recent Mozambique volunteer. His contributions to this meeting are appreciated.

We all look forward to the exciting year ahead and to locating even more RPCVs inn NJ and engaging anyone interested in the organization’s activities. Watch your inbox for news on upcoming events.

Anthony Privetera, Social Chair, arranged a luncheon at nearby Bombay Spice which was attended by twenty-three RPCVs, spouses and friends. The Indian cuisine offered buffet style was quite varied and enjoyed by all. We filled up three tables so it was not possible to get everyone in a single photo.

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NPCA Ebola Relief Fundraiser

Toshi’s Penthouse in NYC was host of the National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) successful Ebola Relief Fundraiser on Nov. 17th. A large group of NPCA supporters and former Peace Corps Volunteers mixed and mingled during live music performances and comedic intermissions. “The fundraiser generated thousands of dollars in donations that will go directly to vetted West African organizations dealing with the Ebola crisis,” commented Jersey City filmmaker and former Peace Corps Volunteer (Guatemala) RJ Harper.

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“There was an awesomely committed team of Toshi patrons that also really made this event so special to me” said, event organizer, Antasha Durbin. “We certainly hope that other organizations concerned about the Ebola crisis step up and organize their indivdual networks and try to make a lasting impact on these countries and especially the children in need” she said. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that “there may be over one million Ebola cases by January 2015 if things don’t change.” The National Peace Corps Association is making tremendous strides in America and in West Africa bridging the gaps in the Ebola crisis because so many former Peace Corps professionals served in those affected countries. Americans really want to do something positive about the Ebola crisis and it appears that the NPCA Ebola Relief Fund is the best route to making a big impact on this growing healthcare crisis,” says Harper.

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Back by Popular Demand: Peace Corps Africa Shirts 2015!

A message from the Atlanta Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers:

THANK YOU for helping us raise over $20,000 last year from people who care and support the Peace Corps mission abroad! This year, we are aiming even higher and we are counting on you.

You asked for it, and we listened–the “Peace Corps Africa–Everywhere Else Is Irrelephant” tee is back!  This time, it’s available in men and youth sizes in beautiful blue AND there’s a ladies version in bold fuchsia. The cost is $15, and it will be available until March 8th.

In February of 2014, AARPCV donated the final $3,100 towards a maternity house construction project led by a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo.  The project, which is now finished, provides a safe place to stay adjacent to the health clinic for women who are in their last month of pregnancy.

So remember, all funds raised go towards Peace Corps Partnership grants. Again, thank you so much!  We could not have done all this without your love and support!

PEACE CORPS WEEK – March 1-7, 2015

Submitted by Rachel Bueide, Peace Corps Recruiter (North Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania)

Peace Corps week is coming up in early March, marking the 54th anniversary of the establishment of the Peace Corps.

Activities will take place in New Jersey and participation by Returned Volunteers will provide an opportunity to fulfill the Peace Corps Third Goal:

To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

The Peace Corps’ theme for 2015 is to recognize Host Country Heros.

Please mark your calendars and

  1. Look for RPCV-NJ eBlast messages with more details on NJ events for that week and help out if you are available.
  2. Consider reaching out to a school/university or organization in your area to give a presentation. Registering through World Wise Schools (WWS) http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/ can help connect you with people looking for speakers in your geographic area. The WWS site also provides access to educational materials for your use.