By Pam Teel
Source: The Millstone Times – https://user-paekt4p.cld.bz/The-Millstone-Times1/10
During the month of March, the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, sixteen-year-old Drew and thirteen-year-old Heather Paglia of Millstone Township found they had a lot of time on their hands. While watching the world they knew change almost overnight, they became aware of the severity of the situation and saw firsthand what it was doing economically and socially to people around them.
In the past, the siblings did not go onto any social media sites, but their mother made an exception and told them they could go on only to stay in touch with their friends, but to stay away from anything negative. It’s hard to not see what was happening all over the world on the computer, so their mother, Cindy, gave them a sort of challenge. They could stay on social media but only if they used it to do something good for someone else.
Little did she know how far her kids would go with that challenge. With Cindy and her husband Andy’s backing, the idea the two kids thought of soon became a reality. What started out as helping people within their community reach has grown into something much bigger and in such a short time. They made small businesses suffering, front line workers, and senior citizens their priority. With that in mind, they started up an official NJ 501 ©3 status non -profit organization called 5help.org campaign.
The idea of 5help.org is to have someone donate $5 dollars and tell five other people about the campaign. (Of course, you could always donate more if you wish.) 100 percent of the money collected went to help someone affected in some way by the Covid shutdown.
They were featured on national TV, radio and were in numerous publications for their effort and mission to help others while trying to engage other kids, teens, and young adults to become part of the solution and their 5help movement. Their mission has expanded now beyond covid. To date, they have raised $41,000 and have helped support many different areas of people in need.
The siblings have joined forces with 20-year-old Tim Rohrer, also from Millstone. Tim grew up with autism and knew firsthand what it felt like to be excluded from things by his peers. He went on to create his own foundation “Tip4inclusion” which includes his famous guide. “How to Be a Good Influence to People with Disabilities,” which was published by the NJ Coalition of Inclusive Education.
Tim began creating inclusion resources in November of 2018 and his work has been seen worldwide. He has become a well-known speaker, author, and self-advocate on inclusion for people with disabilities. He is a consultant for the NJ Coalition of Inclusive Education and has spoken at conferences and schools about the importance of social inclusion. Most recently the three of them have begun a project working with the Allaire Community Farm in Wall Township. They learned about the Farm through their corporate sponsor Peter Grandich & Company. Allaire Community Farm’s mission is to help nurture special needs adults and children with their various programs.
They are trying to procure funding for an indoor riding arena before the winter months approach. This building will allow the farm to become a year-round facility so that lessons and programs will be able to go on regardless of the weather and allow the farm to become more sustainable financially.
When the Millstone teens first met Tim, they were quickly impressed with his work and felt like he would be a perfect addition to their 5Help team, especially with working with the Allaire Community project. They have asked Tim to become a member of their Board of Directors and team partner as their autism spokesperson to help promote the farm and other future projects for special needs children and adults. In return, they will support Tim with his work to get his message of inclusion out to as many places as possible.
Together they have become the Dream Team. They all share a passion to make a difference in the world and by joining forces they feel they will be more powerful with their work and their ability to make a difference. Their first project with the Allaire Community Farm took place in September. Along with Peter Grandich, who was the host of the events, their efforts were to raise money for the farm.
Some of their current efforts include:
They raised over $2,000 for a local restaurant in town when their outdoor tent was destroyed by a storm. In turn, Vesuvio’s Restaurant will be paying it forward using the money to go toward helping feed front line workers.
They have supported the NJ EMS Taskforce- volunteers on the front line- that covers the whole state of NJ and they are getting ready to launch a major national year-long 20th-anniversary initiative during September, their “9/11 Challenge!” They want others to be part of history and created a crowdfunding opportunity for others to help fund a 9/11 Victim Memorial Scholarship & Survivor Relief Fund to honor the 9/11 Victims & Survivors of their choice. They plan on forming memorial scholarships in the individual names of all 9/11 victims and are seeking local families who may have lost a loved one so that they are one of the first to have scholarships in their names.
They are also working with the Abma family from Wyckoff, NJ who had their farm animals abused by teenagers in a social media prank. They never knew of the farm before reading about their story and offered to help. They wanted to show that all teens are not bad and felt that what some teens tried to hurt and destroy, others would try to help and protect.
They have also helped Peter Grandich raise over $10,000 so far for Allaire Community Farm and hope to “Raise the Barn” by reaching out to corporate sponsors and launching a campaign allowing other fundraisers to use their 5Help platform and become part of their 5Help team to raise the additional $85,000 needed before winter.
They have also launched a $5 Make a Difference Campaign for kids, teens, and 20+ with contests and prizes to make it easy for everyone to get involved and start their own fundraiser or join one of theirs using the 5Help platform.
They are just getting ready to launch their “$5 Virtual Lemonade Stand Challenge” for anyone wanting to help an individual, business, or organization of THEIR CHOICE. They also created “My Choice” to help support an effort of their choice and by helping them to create your own fundraiser using the platform they now have in place with an easy 5-minute set-up. They are open to any ideas to make the world a better place.
Drew, Tim, & Heather welcome anyone who wants to share their mission to be part of their team and are actively seeking corporate sponsors so they can do more. 100% of all donations are going to help others with no donations being used for any administrative costs or web site development.
You can help too. It won’t break your bank. Just a $5.00 donation and tell 5 friends. That’s all there is to it.
Checks are also gladly accepted and can be mailed to 5Help Foundation, 200 Village Center Drive #7392, Freehold, NJ 07728.
The next Dream Team event will be the Millstone Township Community-Wide Food drive, which will be held on October 24th at the Baird House on 24 Baird Road from 1-3 pm. They will be collecting non-perishable food donations, so please stop by and donate to the cause!
For more information about all of their work and the Allaire Farm Project, please check out their websites at: https://tips4inclusion.wixsite.com/disabilityinclusion and www.5help.org. Also check them out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group/5help/ and Instagram: 5help.org_national.
To get involved and help “Raise the Barn” at Allaire to make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities and veterans, you can donate or become a fundraiser for town prizes by going to www.5help.org or to direct link at: