RESIDENT SPOTLIGHT: Kim Castellano Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of The Power of One and a Mission to Give Back in Clifton

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Kim Castellano is the Director of the Power of One, a public charity in Clifton committed to alleviating poverty. Kim was inspired to form the organization in 2011 after she had completed training in counseling and life coaching and spent many years of volunteering at church. She explains “I was raised in a low-income family most of my childhood, and as I grew older I related to struggling families and women in transition.”

The Power of One’s focus is to help people live healthier lives through the resources and programs they offer including counseling, coaching and wellness programs. Kim says “…there are limited resources for the working poor, so many of the women and single moms we service wouldn’t have the means to pay for help.”

Today, celebrating their 10 year anniversary, The Power of One has more programs, outreach events and a building of their own in Clifton. This past two years has brought many challenges, including the Covid pandemic and Ida hurricane that left many Clifton families with homes damaged by flooding.  During Covid, the Power of One stayed open to struggling families when many organizations closed, delivering a thousand meals a week through its “Hunger Doesn’t Stop” and mobile food pantry programs; as well as school supplies and a holiday toy distribution.

After Ida, needs of the community increased even more after flooding damaged homes and possessions. The Power of One sprung into action again, partnering with the City of Clifton to help families impacted by flooding with emergency relief services including food, water, clothing and cleaning kits as well as counseling and weekly support groups. “Residents of Clifton are being helped through these new resources because of the continued support from the City of Clifton, our donors, and tireless volunteers.” Kim explained.

The holidays bring many events that may be difficult for struggling families. The Power of One organizes an annual Thanksgiving Day Meal distribution at the Athenia Veterans Post. During the Covid pandemic, Kim and her volunteers delivered over 275 meals to Clifton seniors and other residents unable to leave home. This year they have even more volunteers, with the CHS Key Club students pitching in to help.  Monetary donations are being accepted to keep the costs low and the meal free for residents.

Also going on now is their Holiday Toy Drive to ensure underprivileged children will receive new toys at the holidays, which runs through Dec. 17th. The Toy Drive is organized through A1 Affordable Construction, Clifton FMBA21, and both M&T Bank and Kearny Bank will have a collection box.

Kim says they have many other opportunities for volunteers to give back in Clifton. Their Senior Mobile Pop-Up Food Pantry is ongoing Wednesdays at the senior housing buildings including Evergreen Manor, Senior Horizons and Hazel Street in Clifton. “Food boxes are distributed to the residents, and we now can play Bingo for fun prizes, so donations for bingo prizes are always needed” Kim added. “It’s rewarding to be witness to a family or an individual as they take the necessary steps out of poverty. We may never end it completely, but we can strive to change the path for a brighter future.”

After the new year, The Power of One plans to host a 10 Year Anniversary Gala celebrating the journey of 10 years and casting the vision for its future.

Visit the Power of One online or follow them on Facebook here.



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