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The ONE Project is a Robbinsville based faith and community coalition aimed to address social needs through education and volunteerism. And they are coming out of the gate with some really positive plans and community changing goals.

Partnering with existing Mercer County non-profits, the ONE Project is bringing a resurgence of volunteer energy to joint initiatives by integrating community service with both pre-established and new religious groups.

“There are so many people doing amazing work already. Our goal is to connect them to other religious and community organizations and support the best work in our local community,” said co-founder Amman Seehra.

Co-founder, Amman Seehra
Co-founder, Amman Seehra

Started just this January, co-founders Amman Seehra, Fizza Seehra, Kiran Gill, and Dan Greco came together to create the ONE Project in a very organic way.

It started two years ago through conversations between Amman Seehra, a lawyer born and raised in Hamilton, who has done a lot of public interest work in Trenton and Mercer County, and his wife Fizza Seehra, Director of Strategic Analytics & Customer Management with Johnson & Johnson.

They kicked around the idea of creating a service-based non-profit where Sikh youths would collaborate with other religious youth groups. But, with a vision of religious groups convening for social change, they realized that perhaps limiting the youth to the Sikh faith was too narrow of a focus. Kiran Gill, a childhood friend of Amman and Fizza, mentioned to them that she had been to an interfaith service in Delaware that moved her because it really brought the whole community together. Gill became one of the intregal co-founders to create this organization.

Seehra shared his ideas with Dan Greco, Pastor of Lifetree Community Church, while playing basketball just as they have together twice a week for the past 3 years. He asked Greco for his thoughts about incorporating a partnership of community service with religious groups. From that conversation, grew an ongoing brainstorming of ideas and, eventually timelines. In January of 2014, the non-profit began planning its first events and initiatives and coordinating the youth-volunteers.

High School Meetup 1Working with high school students there were 3 initial “Youth Coordinators” from Lawrence and West Windsor-Plainsboro South. The ONE Project then recruited 15 school liaisons from different high schools including Lawrence, Steinart, West Windsor Plainsboro South, West Windsor Plainsboro North, Princeton, Middlesex Academy, Montgomery, and Robbinsvillle. The school liaisons serve as representative of their schools, will recruit future liaisons and volunteers for each event, and will come up with and execute creative and unique community service events.

The ONE Project plans to host community education programs that will focus on either equality (issues involving racial, religious, LGBT), education, or drug abuse.

“The goal for equality is to change the messaging from “everyone is equal” to “acceptance not tolerance” with a focus on the existence of unconscious bias in everyone,” shared Seehra.

As the ONE Project’s first major initiative, they are partnering with with Feeding Children Everywhere to support Mercer Street Friends‘s “Send Hunger Packing” program.

On July 26, the ONE Project hopes to rally hundreds of participants to hand-package 40,000 healthy meals for distribution throughout Mercer County by US Hunger and Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

The aim is to help feed families with children on the weekends, meeting the needs of children who ordinarily receive meals  during the week through school breakfast and lunch programs but whose families do not have enough income or resources to adequately feed themselves on the weekend.

When: July 26, 10am-1:30pm

Where: Robbinsville High School Commons, 155 Robbinsville Edinburg Road, Robbinsville NJ

But there are lots of ways to contribute. Be a volunteer or donate. Website: http://www.feedingchildreneverywhere.com/portfolio-items/one-project/

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with mild germaphobia, excessive self-reflection, enthusiastic television viewing, and misguided adventures in random hobbies.

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